TMT sector tops diversity stakes

Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) companies consider their workforce the most diverse in terms of ethnicity and education, according to the latest YouGov survey, commissioned by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.

The survey of more than 300 UK middle market business leaders revealed that 85 per cent of the 52 TMT firms questioned said they were educationally diverse, whilst 83 per cent said they were ethnically diverse. Gender, sexual orientation, disability and social background also featured as measures.

Construction firms considered themselves the least diverse on most measures when compared to the TMT, manufacturing, financial services and consumer sectors.

Three-quarters of London companies consider themselves diverse in gender, ethnicity and social background, a trend mirrored in the North-East & Yorkshire. Firms in the South employ the most diverse workers in terms of education.

Of the 317 middle-market firms surveyed, 40 per cent say a diverse workforce generates a positive reputation; 40 per cent felt a diverse workforce improves staff retention, attraction and well-being; yet 41 per cent don’t have mandatory diversity training and policies in place. 

Kerri Constable, associate director at RSM Employers Services said: ‘The positive relationship between diversity and business commerciality is clearer than ever before. Organisations that embed inclusive cultures, put simply, are more likely to make better decisions, achieve higher returns and enjoy a more successful recruitment process.

‘The issue of diversity is right at the forefront of the minds of millennials and the incoming generation Z in particular. Address the issue well, and companies will gain a significant competitive edge.’

The survey supports RSM’s wider research, entitled ‘Beyond the balance sheet – helping you bring governance into focus’ which illustrates how financial metrics no longer form the only yardstick of success and covers a range of areas including equality and diversity, anti-money laundering and bribery act compliance

Carolyn Brown, head of client legal services at RSM said: ‘The past decade has seen a major shift in our understanding of what constitutes a well-run business. Performance measurement goes far beyond the company balance sheet. Good business ethics, and the ability to demonstrate those credentials through accountability and transparency are more important than ever before. In a tightening regulatory environment, outmoded thinking around non-financial reporting, or governance, will leave you and your organisation exposed.’