According to Deloitte, 75% of millennials believe an organisation is more innovative when it fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion (D&I) — and they are more likely to leave if a company does not meet their standards in this area. Therefore, how you communicate your company’s commitment to D&I matters hugely, both internally and externally.

It will be important not only to your talent pool, but also to your stakeholders, future business partners, and customers who want to do business with people who share their values. In this way, fostering a culture of D&I and communicating that successfully is an opportunity for growth, not a problem to be solved or a box to be checked.

Sharon Anne Kean, Head of International Expansion at TransferWise, discussed the importance of demonstrating the impact of a D&I strategy in a recent webinar. Sharon commented; “I’m convinced that if we have a bigger pool of candidates that we can go to and they consider us because they think we’re someone they’d like to work for, then we’ll hire quicker and it will be a great thing for our product development”.

Here are some other key ways communications can help you build more diverse teams and recruit more diverse talent:

  • Recruitment

It’s important to ensure the way you communicate during the recruitment process is transparent. Sharon also discussed the importance of job descriptions; “writing in plain English is one of the most positive things you can do to attract diverse people to the team.” Making it clear and open what the role functions and expectations are puts everyone on a more equal footing.

Diverse interview panels are also important. We all have unconscious biases, therefore a varied interview panel avoids falling in to the trap of hiring ‘more of the same’. It is also helpful for the candidate to see first-hand your organisation’s commitment to D&I.

  • Role models

Promoting role models is a great way to attract more diverse talent. In the fintech sector, for example, Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank, is well known. Anne views it as a very important part of her role to be an active spokesperson for the company in order to attract female talent.

But, your role models do not need to be just from the senior leadership team; look within your organisation for other D&I representatives who can become champions for your values, whilst in turn you are supporting them to build their confidence and profile.

It can start even smaller than that – as Sharon described, “just being in the room makes a difference. I’m the only woman in my team, and the fact that I’m there makes a difference.”

  • Networking

Consider joining networks to connect with external role models who support your own mission and values. For example, Hotwire’s F in Fintech now has over 500 members who support diversity in the fintech sector and want to work with others to improve this across the board. Collaborating with, and learning from, a trusted network of like-minded individuals can help you establish best practice and ensure your message comes across as authentic.

  • Transparency

Underpinning all of the above, is the importance of transparency. As emphasised by James Harris, People Operations Lead in UK, at TransferWise, “the most powerful thing that we can all do is to talk about it.” “Some companies can shy away from wanting to talk about it, because perhaps they feel a bit embarrassed with their diversity data, but let’s just address it and move forward.”

Only by asking the difficult questions and starting the discussion can you understand how to make effective change for your business.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how communications can help drive diversity in your organisation, or wish to learn more about the F in Fintech network, please contact Brittany.Atkins@hotwireglobal.com.