Diversity Watch Widens

Diversion sign (small).jpgIt’s not just public conferences which often fail on diversity. The Bank of Scotland Corporate’s advertisement today in Merseyside’s Businessweek shows the distance still to go before the chaps grasp what diversity might be about – and why everyone, from banks to sub-regions like Merseyside, needs to implement it.
We have already established the Conference Diversity Index on this website. Now it seems we need to widen the scope of Diversity Watch, to encompass other aspects of public presentation.
On the day when The Guardian carries an article by Jill Treanor entitled ‘No room at the top – fewer women reaching boards of Britain’s top firms’, the weekly supplement of my other morning newspaper, Liverpool’s Daily Post Businessweek supplement provides plenty of evidence of how this comes about.
The Daily Post has today a Special Supplement on ‘Business Success:’ with a ‘ Focus on corporate growth on Merseyside’, in which the lead feature considers ‘Nurturing seeds of growth’.
My precision with titles here is because what follows further into the Supplement demonstrates very clearly why everyone needs to be very worried, both about gender (and other) equality in business and, more specifically, about the Merseyside economy.
More of the same

The Post Supplement carries a full page advertisement for the sponsors, Bank of Scotland Corporate, featuring twenty eight photographs of staff, no doubt all fine folk, who offer Merseyside a service which the Bank of Scotland says is ‘Commercial. Efficient. Entrepreneurial’.
Of these personnel just ONE is a woman. And you have to look very hard to find her. Her photograph is in the very bottom corner of the page, the last of the twenty eight people displayed.
Could it be that Merseyside, to refer back to the lead article above, is ‘nurturing’ the opportunities or ‘seeds of (corporate) growth’ for chaps rather more than for non-chaps?
Unembarrassed?
It beggars belief that anyone could find this acceptable; but presumably they do. Discrimination legislation aside (and that must surely be where they have put it), how can there be any confidence in an organisation which so unashamedly flaunts its lack of awareness of, or perhaps respect for, the issues?
You would have thought that at the very least the Bank of Scotland Commercial might have decided against photoraphs to advertise their diversity deficit.
Missing the point

Diversity is critical both to basic notions of fairness and, from the hard business perspective, to economic success. Obviously to some people the status quo must still be more acceptable (very acceptable?) than looking to see how to better the Commercial. Positive. Entrepreneurial aspects of the enterprise, whether it’s a bank or the whole of Merseyside we’re thinknig about.
And here’s the final irony: the strapline for the Bank of Scotland Commercial advertisement is ‘Look at things differently’.

Posted on November 8, 2006, in Equality, Diversity And Inclusion. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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