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Diageos Gillian Dalziel discusses why diversity is good for business

Diageo's Gillian Dalziel discusses why diversity is good for business

 April 01, 2022

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Diageo knows that diversity is good for business, believing it is crucial to create a culture with inclusion and diversity at its heart. Diageo's Early Career Specialist, Gillian Dalziel, Assoc CIPD, shares in The Scotsman how the company's apprenticeship recruitment process aims to attract the best candidates from all backgrounds.

Diageo is committed to attracting diverse talent

"Attracting a talented workforce is difficult for most businesses in the current climate and failing to appeal to marginalised or under-represented groups of society only exacerbates the issue for employers," says Gillian.

"A commitment to driving inclusion and equality in the workplace has long been a priority for Diageo, whether that’s promoting STEM roles for women or better reflecting the ethnic diversity of the communities we operate in. This is not just because it is the right thing to do, it is because it is good for business."

"It is striking that in 2020’s apprenticeship intake in Scotland, we had no applications from candidates from ethnic minority groups. That was not an acceptable situation, so we set about to transform the dynamic of our recruitment by actively engaging the communities we wanted to reach. This allowed us to challenge our assumptions and to reshape our recruitment strategy. The results were truly transformational with 17 per cent of successful candidates in the 2021 apprentice intake coming from BAME backgrounds. We also addressed the gender balance of our apprentices, with an overall split of 68/32 male/female in the programme, and an equitable 50/50 split in the 2021 intake," she comments.

Employer fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion

"To create a truly diverse workplace, we need to attract the best candidates from all backgrounds. What attracts a disabled engineering apprentice may well vary from what attracts a distilling apprentice from a minority ethnic background and it’s our responsibility as employers not to assume what will attract these candidates, but to actually engage with underrepresented communities to tailor our approaches," explains Gillian.

"Another lesson we learned was in relation to the channels we used to advertise and recruit candidates, taking a much more targeted approach to reach the groups we wanted to engage, for example using relevant media like Awaz FM, an Asian community radio station in Glasgow, to broaden our potential audience," she adds.

"Creating diversity in business is the right thing to do, but it is also good business. Employers will only be truly successful when they create supportive communities where everyone is welcome. That won’t be achieved by making statements or setting targets, it will be achieved by taking targeted action to engage and attract applicants from the broadest spectrum of backgrounds," comments Gillian.

A successful career with Diageo may be just around the corner

For Diageo to realise its ambition, it depends on recruiting and developing diverse talent with a range of backgrounds.

Discover apprenticeship opportunities with Diageo.


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