How the UK’s creative industries can benefit from having more inclusive teams
Diversity is front of mind for many companies right now. Sparked by protests and unrest in the United States, the fight for racial equality has become just as fervent in the UK. No business sector is immune from the discussion and that includes creative industries.
Across the UK, the diversity statistics in creative fields paint a bleak picture. A 2017 report from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) showed that 88.8% of creative jobs were filled by white employees. 63% of them were filled by men. In museums, galleries, and libraries, only 3% of employees were from a non-white ethnic background. In design, advertising and marketing, and architecture, that number is only slightly higher at 7%; it stands at 8% in publishing.
There’s a clear need for a more diverse workforce, and if these industries can achieve it, they only stand to gain.
Diversity benefits everyone involved. Companies gain access to a variety of different perspectives. Those perspectives lead to higher levels of creativity and innovation, and they boost profits. Diverse teams produce 19% more revenue than more homogenous teams.
A diverse workforce is also better equipped to thrive in uncertain circumstances and can make better decisions in less time. And overall, more inclusive workplaces have better reputations than their less diverse peers. By all counts, focusing on diversity can only improve a company. But building an inclusive coalition of talent requires a multi-pronged approach.
Diversifying a creative agency team is about analysing your current hiring process and completely rewriting the rules:
And still, your work continues once you’ve brought diverse candidates onboard. Keep the channels of communication open so these team members feel welcome and can voice concerns as they arise. Also, invest time in helping your existing employees understand the true value of diversity and how it can help the organisation improve.
Diversity fosters a more innovative, productive, and inclusive workplace. Thus, it should be a primary focus for all creative companies. Those in positions of power must understand that it’s time for a bold, new approach to conducting business.