‘Diversity is an outdated concept: businesses need to start talking about difference’ says EY’s Managing Partner for Talent

8 March 2014

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Liz Bingham, EY’s Managing Partner for Talent in the UK & Ireland, comments on International Women’s Day: 

“Up and down the country, events will be taking place to celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s fantastic to see the nation’s spotlight shining on such an important issue, but it’s important to remember that gender is just one aspect of diversity. If businesses are truly committed to finding and retaining the best talent, the same focus needs to be extended to ethnicity, age, sexuality and background.

“Even the word diversity appears to have become synonymous with gender. During a recent meeting with my counterparts from the Middle East and China, I was told that ‘diversity’ simply doesn’t translate in many languages and that its meaning has become linked with the representation of women on boards. Viewed in this context, it’s perhaps not surprising that progress on diversity continues to be slow when, on top of the challenges associated with improving talent pipelines, many people are struggling to even understand the concept.

“In a global economy, we need to stop focussing on diversity and instead start recognising, celebrating and embracing difference.”