“SMEs are keen to compete for contracts to boost their turnover and growth prospects. The Diversity Works for London Diagnostic Tool is a must for such aspiring businesses”
Stephen Alambritis Head of Public Affairs Federation of Small Businesses
“I’ve tried the Diagnostic Tool and found it well structured, user friendly and helpful. I’d recommend this to SMEs keen to improve their competitive position by attracting the best staff, developing their people, broadening their supply base and growing their markets.”
Stephen Pegge, Communications Director, Lloyds TSB Commercial
What is the Diagnostic Tool?
The online Diagnostic Tool is designed to enable small businesses to assess progress in achieving workplace and supplier diversity. By taking participating businesses through an online step-by-step self-assessment, the Tool gives businesses a better understanding of which diversity practices are working well within their organisation, identifies key areas where they may need to improve and gives them access to guidance to help them achieve this. This tool can be accessed at www.diversityworksforlondon.com/
Why is it useful?
As well as being free, quick, practical and easy to use, the Diagnostic Tool enables businesses to assess their performance against comprehensive diversity criteria. It also helps participating businesses to put their organisations in a better position to compete for contracts. This is effective because many of London’s large organisations, particularly in the public sector, understand the importance of equality and diversity, and increasingly engage suppliers who demonstrate that they have a diverse workforce.
The tool has been endorsed by organisations such as Lloyds TSB and the Federation of Small Businesses (as quoted above).
What does the Diagnostic Tool assess?
Participating businesses using the online tool are assessed on how they can implement diversity practices across all six strands of diversity: age, disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion or belief.
How does it work?
Participating businesses log on to DWfL’s interactive website and register as a user. Once registered, users click on the Diagnostic Tool link and begin an online questionnaire that is split into six sections:
1. Gaining buy-in
2. Managing a diverse workforce
3. Recruitment, promotion & development
4. Promoting a productive & harmonious workplace
6. Running a diverse business
For each of these six areas there is a good practice statement and associated guidance notes. Users are also given colour codes to help measure their business on the Diagnostic’s scale:
Red – not yet doing anything on the issue
Amber – planning to do work
Green – already working on the issue but could do more
Gold – doing a good job on this issue
Once a section is complete, participating businesses will receive detailed feedback and comments, including links to guidance and help on the DWfL website, and related comprehensive case studies which highlight how other businesses have progressed.
Once all six of the sections are filled out, participating businesses will receive an overall rating again using the red, amber, green and gold symbols. The process takes approximately half an hour to complete. Users can then revisit the Tool at any time when they feel they have made further progress and are ready to reassess their organisation.
Is it for everyone?
The Tool has been specifically designed for London’s smaller businesses and organisations with 100 employees or less. However, in June 2008, DWfL will be launching a diagnostic tool specifically aimed at larger businesses. The self-assessment process will vary slightly to this one, and companies that have registered to receive updates from DWfL will automatically receive an update when it is available.