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25th February 2019

Police chief says forces should positively discriminate to boost diversity

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Police forces should be allowed to positively discriminate in favour of potential employees from minority ethnic backgrounds in order make themselves more representative of communities they serve, the leader of Britain’s police chiefs has said.

Sara Thornton, chair of the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) said she believed that positive discrimination was needed, and new laws should be passed to “shock the system”. Her comments were made just days before an employment tribunal found a police force had acted in a discriminatory way when it incorrectly used positive action in a recruitment process.

It is vital for businesses to be representative of their cities and communities in order to reach a broader audience. If an organisation is not representative of its community, service users may feel that the business won’t understand them as a person and their cultural experience. Ensuring a diverse workforce, allows a wider range of individuals to identify with the organisation.

Positive action can be a valuable tool for increasing diversity in the workforce, but does not really help with the retention of employees. To ensure a diverse and inclusive workforce, and to help with the retention of BAME recruits, it’s important for organisations to tackle the underlying causes, and to change the culture of the organisation. Here at enei, we work with our Members to help create more diverse and inclusive workforces by challenging Unconscious Bias. In a workplace context, bias impacts our recruitment decisions, employee development, and can create a disconnected culture, which impact diversity and retention rates. Therefore, it is vital for organisations to tackle unconscious bias in order to develop and maintain an inclusive workforce.