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Marginalised Gender Well-being. A Great organisation is one that fosters a great culture for all employees, not just a select few. It is for this reason that adopting inclusion practices for marginalised groups such as the LGBTQIA+ community is so important in the workplace. LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer, which is a term for people of marginalised gender identities and sexual orientations who are not cisgender and/or heterosexual. LGBTQIA+ individuals in particular may face unique challenges and stressors in the workplace, including the fear of coming out, facing discrimination, or experiencing microaggressions. Inclusive practices help create a supportive and affirming environment, promoting the mental health and well-being of LGBTQIA+ employees.

Social and Legislative Progress Against Hate and Harassment. Over the last 20 years there has been significant social and legislative progress for LGBTQIA+ people in Ireland, resulting in legal protections for LGBTQIA+ employees such as the Unfair Dismissals Act, the Parental Leave Act, the Employment Equality Acts, the Marriage Act and the Gender Recognition Act. However, legal protections do not necessarily guarantee LGBTQIA+ inclusiveness across the board. 75 per cent of LGBTQIA+ people have reported being verbally hurt for their sexual orientation or identity over their lifetime, while 87 per cent of Irish community members have experienced hate and harassment online in the past year, according to LGBT Ireland. (1)

Legislative policies are a step in the right direction but there is still a long way to go before there is equality across the board, and in the workplace this is no different. LGBTQIA+ inclusivity is not just a matter of legal compliance; it is a strategic imperative that contributes to a positive work culture, employee satisfaction, and organisational success. In this article are some ideas on how to implement inclusion practices for the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace.

Educating Staff from The Top Down

One of the most important steps in fostering a culture of inclusivity is education. Educating staff at all levels is crucial in order to increase awareness and understanding of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals. This can be through things like Diversity and Inclusion training, establishing Employee Resource Groups or hosting panels or speakers from prominent LGBTQIA+ organisations. If they are not directly involved in the community, many of your employees may not be familiar with the experiences and challenges LGBTQIA+ people can face on a daily basis. Providing them with resources through which they can learn can dispel stereotypes, myths, and misconceptions, fostering a more inclusive and respectful work environment.

In providing education on such topics, in turn you can help prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace. By promoting awareness of appropriate language, behaviour, and inclusive practices, employees are less likely to engage in discriminatory or harassing actions. Education also empowers employees to intervene if they witness such behaviour, creating a culture of accountability and support among LGBTQIA+ employees and allies.

Being The Best Ally You Can Be

An ally can be defined as someone who is not a member of a marginalised group but wants to support and take action to help others in that group. Allyship in the workplace is crucial for inclusion and equality. Even though you yourself may not directly experience the hardships some of those in the LGBTQIA+ community have to endure, it is important to place yourself in their shoes and be there as an active support, whenever necessary. This means building a high trust culture with your employees, encouraging open communication and listening through educative pieces as previously mentioned. 

This also means standing up for employees at the hands of discrimination, and not shying away when it comes to actually dealing with issues affecting the community. A report published by global consultancy group Robert Walters found that Irish LGBTQIA+ women in particular are being let down in the workplace, with as many as 1 in 5 saying they don’t trust their leaders to defend “what is right”. (2)

Some examples of how to show your support for your LGBTQIA+ colleagues are:

Download the report to find out who made the 2023 Best Workplaces for Women! 👇

Celebrating LGBTQIA+ History and Events

Celebrating LGBTQIA+ events in the workplace is an excellent way to show support, promote inclusivity, and foster a positive work environment. 87 per cent of employees at our Best Workplaces agree with the statement "I can be myself around here", with 96 per cent agreeing that "people here are treated fairly, regardless of their sexual orientation"In hosting events and boosting awareness, you are further reinforcing your organisation's commitment to allyship for the community. This could be done through things like:

It’s important to ensure that these celebrations and activities are inclusive, respectful, and aligned with the needs and preferences of the LGBTQIA+ community in your organisation. Where possible, engage with employees and seek their input to ensure that the celebrations are meaningful and supportive. It is also important to refrain from performative displays of allyship or “rainbow washing” – if your organisation has no procedures in place for LGBTQIA+ employees except for changing the colours of its logo to the rainbow each June, you’re sending the wrong message to not just your employees, but the wider community as well.

 Avoid a “One-Size-Fits-All” Approach

Taking all of this into account, it is important to stay away from a “one size fits all" approach to implementing inclusivity practices in your organisation. The LGBTQIA+ community encompasses a wide range of identities, and each identity has unique experiences, needs, and challenges, as well as intersecting identities such as race, ethnicity and religion. A "one size fits all" approach may overlook these differences and fail to address specific concerns and issues faced by individuals within the community. Ignoring intersectionality and implementing a generalised approach may inadvertently exclude or marginalise individuals who face additional forms of discrimination.

On top of this, a "one size fits all" approach may perpetuate stereotypes, biases, or tokenism. It can create a culture that does not genuinely value or understand the diverse experiences of LGBTQIA+ employees. Building an inclusive organisational culture requires acknowledging and embracing the richness and complexity of LGBTQIA+ identities and making that effort to understand these complexities for yourself, rather than reading an inclusivity handbook and calling it a day.

It is important to engage with LGBTQIA+ employees, seek their input, and involve them in the decision-making process. By embracing diversity and inclusivity within the LGBTQIA+ community, organisations can create a workplace that values the uniqueness and experiences of all individuals, not just a select few.


(1) The LGBTIreland Report: national study of the mental health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Ireland

(2) Driving Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace - A Robert Walters Group Company

More resources on workplace inclusion:

 About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. We help organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. We recognise Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in more than 60 countries. To join the thousands of companies that have committed to building high-trust company cultures that help them attract, retain and take care of their people, contact us about getting Certified today.


Inclusion and Diversity is a Positive Change for Irish SMEs

CIPD Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Positive change on inclusion can only come about through concerted, meaningful and intentional action. CIPD know that while the business case for diversity and inclusion is useful, financial outcomes are not the ultimate goal for inclusion at work. Creating shared value and distributing it to various stakeholders in its different forms is more important than driving business performance for financial stakeholders alone. If organisations are to achieve fair and sustainable forms of work that benefit all stakeholders (workers included), we need to locate inclusion at the centre of strategy and practice. It’s therefore crucial that people professionals help leaders in their organisations to move beyond bottom-line thinking and instead consider a very real and achievable alternative that works for all stakeholders, workers included: the triple bottom line in which workplaces are fair, transparent and inclusive.

Making this future a reality requires real commitment to change and tangible investment in improving management practices and capability. It also requires a long, hard look at the practices people professionals lean heavily on to understand if they really are inclusive, and an assessment of what must be improved if we’re to create more inclusive workplaces. Being evidence based is a key way for people professionals to ensure that the work they do is more likely to create positive outcomes, and does not unintentionally harm or exclude oppressed groups from good-quality work. Ultimately evidence must be the basis of decisions we make in the profession, and this should be apparent nowhere more so than in the inclusion space.

We assess the evidence on important questions relating to workplace inclusion, to better equip people professionals to truly deliver change and support their organisations to transform for the better. We research supports practitioners to build their knowledge and expertise and enables them to deliver lasting change for their organisations and the many stakeholders they serve every day.

Edward Houghton, Head of Research and Thought Leadership, CIPD

Making The Case for Inclusion

A focus on workplace diversity and inclusion (D&I) has undoubtedly led to progress in tackling workplace inequality in recent decades.

Gender is only one aspect. For example, the gap between female and male employment rates in the UK is the lowest since it was first recorded in 1971,1 meaning the UK workforce is more gender-diverse than ever. On the other hand, FTSE 100 CEOs in 2018 were more likely to be called Dave or Steve, than be female,2 meaning male and female experiences of workplace progression aren’t equal. And, gender is just one aspect of diversity. One piece of research highlights that if the current rate of progress remains the same, FTSE 100 companies won’t meet targets for BAME board representation until 2066.

Minority groups still have barriers to equality. Clearly, more needs to be done to make workplaces inclusive as well as diverse. Increasing representation for minority groups is not a panacea to these issues. Businesses must tackle barriers to equality, such as poor progression prospects, bias (both conscious and unconscious), over and above complying with legislation, to make real change. However, in previous CIPD research, Diversity and Inclusion at Work: Facing up to the business case, we identified a lack of robust evidence on how to meaningfully address barriers to equality.

Inclusion is considered to be the missing piece of the puzzle. An inclusive workplace culture allows all people to thrive at work, regardless of their background, identity or circumstance. However, how an inclusive organisation is developed, and what inclusion really means in practice, is less clear.

SMEs need to better define and understand inclusion, understand how inclusion relates to workplace outcomes and, importantly, how people professionals, line managers and business leaders can contribute to the development of more inclusive workplaces.

Box 1: Diversity, equality, equity or inclusion?
Diversity refers to demographic differences of a group – often at team or organisational level. Often, diversity references protected characteristics in UK law: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. CIPD members can find information on the legislation in relation to these characteristics in our topic pages and factsheets.5 Equality means equal rights and opportunities are afforded to all. The 2010 Equality Act in the UK protects those with protected characteristics from direct and indirect discrimination in the workplace.6 Equity recognises that treating everyone equally has shortcomings, when the playing field is not level. An equity approach emphasises that everyone should not be treated the same, but according to their own needs. Inclusion is often defined as the extent to which everyone at work, regardless of their background, identity or circumstance, feels valued, accepted and supported to succeed at work. This report explores this definition in more detail, to understand what inclusion means in practice, and how it might be assessed.

A Numbers Game?

Economic research shows benefits. A focus on increasing diversity at work is undoubtedly positive for individuals, and wider society. The economic case for more diverse workplaces is clear; research from the US shows that participation of women in state-level labour markets is linked to wage increases for all, and in the UK, research identifies that full representation of BAME individuals in the labour market would reap benefits to the tune of £24 billion.

Increases business performance is conceptually limited. This emphasis on diversity has perhaps been in part due to the focus (in both research and practice) on building the business case for diversity. Along with progressive policy-making and changing societal norms, this case has highlighted the importance of taking action on diversity. However, the focus on the traditional business case – that diversity increases business performance – is conceptually limited.

Individuals and their potential. First, it’s important to note that at individual level, being able to access and succeed in work, regardless of background and circumstance, is a basic tenet of equality, which employers have a responsibility to champion regardless of potential return on investment for diversity programmes. (For a discussion of the terms used in this report, see Box 1.)

Research also shows that the link between diversity and performance is highly dependent on context. As one author puts it, ‘simply representing a greater variety of differences in an organization or group is not a magical path towards greater performance’. In other words, having a diverse workforce is a good start, but there are other important factors that influence workplace outcomes, such as employee experience and organisational context.

Diversity needs people and systemic change. Finally, the business case isn’t always effective in galvanising employers to make systemic changes that tackle barriers to inclusion and equality. It focuses on moving the dial on diversity numbers, but not on systemic change. Increasing diversity through targeted recruitment, for example, is unlikely to tackle the underlying causes of a lack of diversity.

From Diversity to Inclusion

Everyone experiences a company differently. Positively, inclusion is increasingly seen as a key driver of progress towards workplaces where everyone can thrive, recognising that workplaces aren’t inclusive for everyone. Indeed, employees in the same company can experience the workplace differently depending on their line manager and team, but also background and circumstances.

It’s clear that, as well as employing inclusive practices, different perspectives, beliefs and norms must be valued by an organisation and its leaders and employees for a diverse workforce to thrive. How best to make this change is less clear.

For example, recent figures from a survey of over 100,000 LGBT people in the UK found that ‘23% had experienced a negative or mixed reaction from others in the workplace due to being LGBT or being thought to be LGBT’, and a CIPD survey of BAME employees found that BAME employees were more likely to say identity of background can impact the opportunities given at work. More broadly, findings from the CIPD UK Working Lives survey highlight that 22% of employees feel that other team members would judge others for being different.

These findings highlight that focusing on diversity alone could even be counterproductive as it doesn’t address the systemic challenges to workplace equality and inclusion, such as workplace culture. It instead puts underrepresented, or less ‘powerful’, groups in harm’s way, potentially doing more harm than good.

Inclusion, then, might be a better starting point for organisations wanting to increase diversity. For example, a survey of business leaders and HR professionals found that less inclusive organisations are more likely to fail to be making changes off the back of gender pay gap reporting and cite senior leadership support as a barrier to the success of ethnicity pay gap reporting.

It’s clear that, as well as employing inclusive practices, different perspectives, beliefs and norms must be valued by an organisation and its leaders and employees for a diverse workforce to thrive. How best to make this change is less clear.

Understanding and Taking Action on Inclusion

Inclusion is a promising idea; allowing everyone to be included and supported at work, regardless of their background, makes sense for businesses and employees. But what do we mean when we say an organisation is inclusive? Is it about people management practices, employee experience and organisational values, or a combination of these factors?

Without clarity on what inclusion means, taking targeted action in organisations is challenging – and, there is a risk that inclusion initiatives are rebranded diversity initiatives that don’t fully address barriers to inclusion.19 Addressing these barriers requires businesses to reflect on their culture and practices, and employee experience more broadly. This lack of clarity also makes it challenging to measure progress and evaluate the success of inclusion strategies.

DARE explores inclusion and inclusive practices and provides guidance for people professionals, business leaders and line managers to measure and improve inclusion in their workplace. It does this by providing a series of resources, training and supports specific to SMEs and entrepreneurs.

Source: Building Inclusive Workplaces Report CIPD

Business in the Community Ireland is a movement for sustainable change in business.

In a dynamic and changing environment, sustainable businesses are successful businesses

One of the areas the Leaders’ Group is addressing is social inclusion. This is done through the ‘Social Inclusion Sub-Group’. The group is made up of representatives from BITCI member companies - CRH, Dawn Meats, Deloitte, eir, Gas Networks Ireland, Janssen, M&S, SSE Ireland, and Veolia as well as experts from Business in the Community Ireland. The group is co-chaired by Sinéad Patton, Chief Financial & Commercial Officer, Veolia Ireland, and Ken Scully, Director and Head of Trading and Commercial Operations – M&S Ireland.

What Do We Mean When We Talk About Inclusion?

Recognising that social equality is a fundamental driver for sustainable economic growth and recovery, the ‘Social Inclusion Sub-Group’ set about identifying a responsible business approach to reducing inequalities and achieving a fairer more inclusive society. As a result, in 2019, BITCI published the Inclusive Employer Blueprint providing a step-by-step approach for any employer interested in building an inclusive society starting with their organisation.

Progressing the work started with the Inclusive Employer publication, in 2021, BITCI launched Elevate – The Inclusive Workplace Pledge. The purpose of this Pledge is to practically demonstrate commitment by Irish businesses to building an inclusive workforce. It will also act as a catalyst for wider, complementary initiatives and actions, to assist companies in achieving diversity, equity & inclusion targets whilst tackling inequalities in society.

BITCI commissioned Deloitte to assist with the research for this report, which reveals some of the social inequalities that exist in Ireland today alongside an exploration of the barriers to inclusion as experienced by employers and job seekers

Why Does Inclusion Make Sense?

Today, investors, consumers, employees, and civil society all pay attention to how businesses respond to the diversity, equality, and inclusion challenges we face. Companies are expected to act beyond compliance and to take a real stand on inclusion. The global pandemic has radically disrupted the employment market. It has exposed the deeply rooted inequality in our society and has broadened the social divide.

While some thriving sectors of the economy will continue to engage in a war for talent that will exacerbate as our economy rebuilds, rising unemployment in challenged sectors, mostly low-paid, part-time, and informal, will further distance vulnerable job seekers.

BITCI believes that businesses can only be sustainable in a fair and equal society. For over 20 years, they have driven this agenda through our education and employment programmes where they support people from different backgrounds to enter employment in this country. For example, our award-winning EPIC program has placed

The Power and Marginalisation in Irish Society

We don’t often stop to think about it, but different characteristics of our identity have an impact on how easy and seamless our journey through life is. For some, the opportunity is so varied and plentiful that it can be difficult to recognise that opportunity is not distributed evenly.

The tendency is to think of diversity in singular terms. However, by doing so we fall into the trap of them and us. Gender is for women; Racism is just about #BlackLivesMatter and so on. Lack of opportunity or inequality is usually not the result of single, distinct factors. Often it is the outcome of intersections of different characteristics, power relations, and experiences.

The following diagram represents some of the characteristics that can impact our employability. It illustrates some of the characteristics of those who hold the most power in our society and as such typically benefit from greater opportunity. It also shows the characteristics of those individuals more likely to be marginalised and denied the opportunity.

How Inclusive is Irish Society?

Ireland made significant progress in recovering from the economic crash of 2008. At the start of

2020, pre-pandemic with unemployment rates at a little over 5% we were technically at full employment. Our economy was vibrant, and we experienced a trend for higher salaries and increased standard of living for many. However, despite positive indicators of economic growth, the country was also experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis. Rates of long-term unemployment and the number of jobless households were amongst the highest in Europe and one in eight of us were at risk of poverty.

Then the global pandemic hit and workforces across all sectors have been radically disrupted. The true levels of unemployment are currently disguised by the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. However, as

unemployment rises vulnerable job seekers will be further distanced from the labour market. Individuals who experience barriers to reaching their potential can get caught up in welfare systems and poverty traps. Individuals, their families, and whole communities can get stuck in a vicious cycle of disadvantage which can be difficult to break. Very often the path out of poverty is not clear and individuals don’t see options for themselves.


Unemployment rates (as presented on page 10) give one indication of disproportionate disadvantage. Under-employment is another indicator. However, it is difficult to accurately assess under-employment. A 2018 Labour Force Survey revealed over 5% of the workforce were visibly under-employed. That is, 5% of the workforce was actively looking for additional hours. To compile labour statistics, a person needs only to work one hour per week to be considered employed.

Another area of under-employment is invisible. This relates to individuals who are working in jobs where their skills are not adequately utilised. Women and people with disabilities or caring responsibilities account for a disproportionate amount of part-time positions to enable them to balance work and home responsibilities. As a result, they often have to choose between a job they are qualified for or a lower-skilled/lower-paid job that affords them the flexibility they require. Invisible under-employment also relates to non-Irish nationals.

Often foreign qualifications or work experience will not be considered for roles here, meaning that highly qualified individuals are working in low-skilled roles. In a 2021 BITCI survey of 800 migrant jobseekers who engaged with our EPIC programme, 69% were unemployed and 31% were underemployed.

Progression to Third Level

The HEA Graduate Outcomes Survey Report indicates that graduates are less likely to experience unemployment, suggesting that a third-level qualification is a key requirement in getting your foot on the career ladder. This has significant implications in terms of ensuring workplaces are diverse. From the Annual Irish Times Feeder School Tables, we can see that third-level progression from disadvantaged (DEIS) schools has increased over the last number of years. However, at an average rate of 63.5% compared to over 80% from non-DEIS schools and as high as 98% from fee-paying schools there is still a considerable differential in the opportunities available to students based on the affluence of the area they grow up in.

Impact of the Pandemic


A global Deloitte report on the impact on women suggests the pandemic could threaten the progress made on gender equality over the last number of years. Nearly 82 percent of women surveyed said their lives have been negatively disrupted by the pandemic. Nearly 70 percent of women who have experienced these disruptions are concerned their career growth may be limited as a result, believing these shifts have prevented—or will prevent—them from progressing. Extra demands across work and

home (caregiving and schooling responsibilities) come at a heavy price – with forty percent of working women who experienced negative shifts in their daily routine saying they are unable to balance their work and life commitments, and nearly 40 percent cite significant consequences to their physical and mental well-being.

Non-Irish Nationals

In March 2021, the standard measure of Monthly Unemployment was 5.8%. The COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment could indicate a rate as high as 24.2% if all claimants of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) were classified as unemployed. A 2020 ESRI report found that Non-Irish nationals have suffered more job losses due to Covid-19 closures than Irish nationals mainly because many of them work in the hospitality sector. If job losses were distributed evenly across society, we would expect to see Irish nationals account for 83% of the PUP. This figure is 72% with non-Irish nationals accounting for 28% of the payments.

Low Paid Workers

Low-paid, often low-skilled, workers were particularly affected during the initial phase of the crisis. Many “frontline workers”, who put their health at risk, exposing themselves to the virus to ensure the continuation of essential services during lockdowns, work in sectors characterised by relatively low wages. This includes health and care workers (apart from doctors), but also cashiers, production and food processing workers, maintenance workers, agricultural workers, delivery workers, and truck drivers.

According to a 2020 OECD report, outside the essential services, low earners are more likely to be working in sectors affected by shutdowns and are more likely to have suffered job or earnings loss.

Barriers to Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion have come into sharp focus for business. There are a variety of reasons for this.

The global pandemic and high-profile campaigns such as #BlackLivesMatter have shone a spotlight

on social inequalities. Investors, consumers, employees, and civil society have increased their attention on how businesses respond to the diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges we face. From a moral sense, we know it is the right thing to do. We also know there is a strong business case for inclusion. Businesses talk about their commitment to diversity & inclusion. Common assertions made include “everyone is welcome to apply for a job and develop a career regardless of background or personal circumstances” or “we’re open to anyone who has the right qualifications.” However genuine these statements are, the reality is, as we have seen earlier in this report certain groups within our society face significant barriers to employment.

To gain an understanding of these barriers and how they can be overcome, BITCI commissioned a series of focus groups in early 2021. Two sessions involved participants from employment support NGOs and two sessions involved participants from business. The following pages present key insights from this focus group research. The barriers to inclusion were explored from both the employer and the jobseeker’s perspective. Not surprisingly similar themes came out from both groups. It is interesting though to consider the themes from two different sides, as this offers insights into how such barriers can be addressed and overcome. The barriers presented on the following pages relate to four key themes.

Barriers to Inclusion

Tara’s Story

“I came to Ireland 20 years ago as an immigrant. There were a lot of opportunities, I fell into a job easily at the start as I was a recent graduate. Which is a real 360 from my situation now. I took time out of my career to raise my family, so I now have a gap in my CV. I want to get back to work but I have a mental block about putting myself forward for rejection because job searching is very daunting. As a stay-at-home Mum, I don’t value my contribution. It is as if you are not ambitious. These things stacked on top make me feel overwhelmed. I feel isolated from people who are working because I am not contributing to the economy, I don’t feel I have as much value.”

Lisa’s Story

“When I turned 16, I looked for a part-time job without success for 2 years. I watched all my classmates get jobs. When a settled person vouched for my sister, she got a job in our local shop. That paved the way for me. That same employer ended up hiring all four girls from my family because we were great employees.”

Olive’s Story

“Last year I got a summer internship. I loved the experience and did very well. I was encouraged to apply for a permanent role. For the selection process, I had to go through the standard online assessment. I didn’t pass the test. Maybe I should have disclosed I had dyspraxia. I didn’t think I’d need to as it had never been an issue during my internship. I could do the job, but I couldn’t pass the test.”

Dave’s Story

“I recently gave a contract to someone who had come out of prison. We gave him loads of support and he was doing very well. Then he just stopped turning up. I was so frustrated that it didn’t work out. It felt like a kick in the teeth.”

Liam’s Story

“I was thrilled to get a job offer after I got out of prison. I loved going to work. Then I had to sort out some family stuff and I missed a few days. I was so caught up in it I didn’t let anyone know. Then I felt like I had let everyone down. I couldn’t go back.”

Key Insights

Job Descriptions

Job descriptions often include unnecessary requirements and jargon or overly complex language. Pressure to fill open roles doesn’t allow the opportunity to challenge or push back on long lists of requirements. The tendency is to default to full-time roles and standard hours.

What profile of candidate might be encouraged to apply if the job was described simply in terms of core skills or expertise and if part-time hours or flexible conditions were built into the job design?

Traditional Recruitment Process

Traditional recruitment screens out. It selects the top candidates based on a standardised set of prerequisites.

What would happen if the process was designed to screen in?

All candidates that meet the minimum requirements necessary for the role are reviewed and any applicants from underrepresented groups are included in the first round of the selection process. Think about the selection process and how best to assess your ability to do the job. Not everyone demonstrates their potential through an interview. Are there options to assess candidates on the job?

Development and Progression

Often employers place emphasis on recruitment to address diversity and inclusion and they make significant investments in pre-employment initiatives. However, post-entry support is also needed.

What initiatives are in place to ensure you retain diverse employees?

Every new employee needs support and some will need more than others. It is necessary to consider onboarding and continuous development for all employees. Establishing a support network across the business for all employees helps with onboarding and paves the way for ongoing development. Facilitate buddying and mentoring initiatives along with employee resource groups to build skills as well as confidence and resilience. Build inclusion into manager’s KPIs supporting them to proactively conduct appraisals for inclusion to assess employee experiences, understand challenges, and discuss progression ambitions, then create development plans accordingly.

Education and Training

Education and Training are key to overcoming the fear that can exist around inclusion, and to tackle bias and challenging stereotypes. A manager who hasn’t worked with a colleague with a disability or whose first language isn’t English may fear saying the wrong thing that could offend.

What training do you offer to promote inclusion? Train managers to manage diverse teams, to have challenging conversations, and to get comfortable discussing the uncomfortable. If a new employee is starting and requires certain accommodations, brief immediate colleagues on what to expect and encourage open conversations to allay fears and create support.

Role Models

Role models are important in paving the way for others to follow. Role modeling & ambassadors that are relatable can be very influential. They have the power to inspire people that opportunities exist. However, it can take huge bravery and resilience to step away from your community and do something different and not everyone is comfortable being a role model or the face of diversity for their employer.

Share stories from both employee and employer perspectives but avoid having a ‘poster’ person when it comes to showcasing success. How do you demonstrate that you have an inclusive culture? Can you see your city, town, and customers in your workplace?

Equal Opportunities

It is easy to hide behind generic equal opportunity statements. Demonstrate authentic commitment

by defining how you are an inclusive employer. Articulate practical examples of how your culture supports Inclusion. For example, in an invitation to interview, include a menu of accommodations available. Aim to create a situation where candidates feel safe to disclose information and avail of appropriate support.

Sometimes it won’t work out

As with any hire, sometimes it just won’t work out. A new employee might start well and seem to be settling in but they may experience one setback either at work or in their personal life and everything falls apart. Depending on their circumstance the job is often first to go either because they don’t have the necessary support to continue or they feel they can’t reveal the problem. Other times even if the employer does everything right it might just not be the right fit. It is understandable to be disappointed if this happens but important to recognise that there is always a chance that a new employee won’t make probation regardless of their pathway into the business. The general experience is that if an employee gets the right support they thrive and retention follows.


Working with partner organisations to support inclusive recruitment and retention can significantly contribute to the success of your efforts. Employment support organisations on the ground have the experience and first-hand knowledge of the barriers faced by individuals they work with. This experience will guide the direction of support or interventions you can provide. The right partner can advise on your

approach to widening your recruitment channels. They can refer candidates they know would be suitable. Very often they can provide ongoing support to successful candidates supporting the onboarding process.

Many organisations can facilitate pre-employment training and/or work placements. Both of these allow potential employers to get to know candidates before hiring, providing a buffer of reassurance regarding

their ability to do the job. They are also hugely beneficial to job seekers as they get to experience a world of work they may not be familiar with. At their core, employment support organisations are about linking people with people, providing the opportunity to see every individual’s potential.

Actions that Make a Distance


Mazars is a leading international audit, tax and advisory firm. Operating as a united partnership, they work as one integrated team, leveraging expertise, scale and cultural understanding to deliver exceptional and tailored services in audit and accounting, as well as tax, financial advisory, consulting and legal services*

For Mazars diversity goes beyond geographical differences. Mazars, are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where teams, leaders and performance come in many different styles from diverse ethnic backgrounds and where these differences lead to greater value and success.

Mazars in Ireland Gender Pay Gap Report 2022

In accordance with ‘The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021’, we have published our Gender Pay Gap Report 2022

Hourly pay
The difference between the mean hourly pay of male employees and that of female employees: -2.69%
The difference between the median hourly pay of male employees and that of female employees: -8.74%

Bonus pay
The difference between the mean bonus pay of male employees and that of female employees: 5.31%
The difference between the median bonus pay of male employees and that of female employees: -100%

Diverse by nature

Mazars know that value for their business, their clients and their communities is created by embracing different perspectives, empowering their people and bringing to the table varied backgrounds, views and skills.

As an international partnership with local roots all over the world, Mazars is - by nature - a geographically diverse organisation that has grown thanks to the different nationalities, languages and educations of their team.

Today, their leadership team is a good reflection of this diversity: our Group Executive Board is composed of eight nationalities (out of 12 members) and our Group Governance Council brings together nine different nationalities (out of 11 members). Making the most of these differences as an inclusive organisation allows them to solve problems, move their firm forward and, ultimately, better serve their clients.

Inclusive by design

Diversity goes beyond geographical differences. At Mazars are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where teams, leaders and performance come in many different styles, from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and where these differences lead to greater value and success. These differences include, but are not limited to differences in ability, age, culture, education, gender, gender identity and expression, language, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background and working style.

Mazars operates as one team and our international, integrated partnership model makes us, by design, a diverse and inclusive organisation.

Our global D&I survey conducted in May - July 2022 (with 1,400 respondents across 60 countries) highlighted that:

Gender equity, diversity and inclusion

43.5% Overall, governance bodies are made up of 43.5% women

59% of our 95+ countries track and share their gender-diversity indicators

63% Our Group Management Team is composed of 63% female C-level executives

A lot has been done, but they want to do more. In 2021, they appointed a global leader of diversity and inclusion, who drives a gender diversity strategy based on four change drivers: leadership accountability, awareness programmes, HR and talent management, and knowledge and tools. This leader, who reports to the group CEO, animates a community of 220 diversity leaders around the world and conducts D&I dialogues with their top 20 countries to discuss action plans.

In 2021-2022, women accounted for 20% of partners across the Group, and their realistic goal is to raise this number to 25% by 2025. It is a key objective set out in their strategic plan and based on a fair assessment of our current talent pipeline. Thanks to their efforts, they have reached 22% of female partners as of January 2023.

To help them in this journey, they have partnered, at the group level, with the Observatory for Gender Balance, which creates knowledge and initiatives to advance female leadership and representation in top management. Working with the Observatory’s members, Mazars has developed a checklist for CEOs to assess whether their organisations have implemented the necessary actions to deliver results. This is a tool they are using to drive our own transformation and progress.

In partnership with the Observatory, Mazars has developed a white paper featuring key insights from experts and CEOs, who share their views on critical barriers and bias, and how to drive gender diversity improvements.

Leading from the top

Their Group Executive Board is dedicated to embedding diversity and inclusion into everything they do at Mazars. By shaping their culture and long-term strategy around inclusion, their leadership is committed to building a diverse global firm that recognises and rewards difference.

Their group CEO, Hervé Hélias, has taken a stance on gender diversity by working with other CEO members of the Observatory and co-signing several op-eds which help build the case internally and externally for more impactful gender diversity strategies. They have published these perspectives on our website and promoted them in social media.

In 2021, Hervé Hélias and the Managing Director of Mazars in France, Olivier Lenel, co-signed the “Manifesto of the French Ministry in charge of Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities to protect women victims of violence”. By signing this manifesto, they share their commitment to act against this violence, whether outside or inside the company.

These initiatives are shaping Mazars as a firm that expressly appreciates the value of difference and the importance of belonging, and delivers business success to their people and our clients as a result.


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