Banks pressure agencies to tow line on diversity

first_img Comments are closed. Banks pressure agencies to tow line on diversityOn 19 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Leading City banks are to put pressure on recruitment agencies to improvethe diversity of candidates they recommend. The Interbank Diversity Forum – a body of diversity professionals at the topbanks – will meet with recruitment agencies in the New Year in a bid tohighlight the business benefits of diversity and improve the variety ofcandidates put forward. The IDF is concerned that recruitment agencies view an increased focus ondiversity as compromising the quality of applicants. IDF member Frank Howell, head of diversity at JP Morgan Chase, told the CityRecruitment Conference that he has already unsuccessfully attempted to changethe behaviour of recruitment agencies. Howell has spoken at, and chaired, workshops for the bank’s top 20recruitment agencies to inform them how a diverse workforce will improve theindustry’s productivity. He also hosted a cocktail party for more than 100 recruitment professionalsfrom 80 agencies in a bid to get the message across. “There is an obvious business case for diversity. As a bank, we attractstereotypical white, middle class, Oxbridge graduates. We have to ask ourselves‘will we be able to understand our customers and get business likethis?’,” asked Howell. He told delegates at Business Forums International’s conference last weekthat agencies are reluctant to adapt their practices. “Agencies have told me they will not change just for JP Morgan Chasewhen the rest of the industry has different criteria,” Howell said. “So, next year the IDF will go to the agencies as a group of 10 largecompanies that pay their wages and say that we want changes,” he said. The IDF are also to meet sister organisation, The Interbank RecruitmentForum – a body of recruitment professionals in the city – to discussinitiatives to improve the diversity of staff. Case study: JP Morgan ChaseNetwork groups focus on diversityJP Morgan Chase is trying to increasethe diversity of its staff by providing more support for ethnic minority employees,gays and lesbians, parents and its older workers.Frank Howell, head of diversity, said that the bank’s diversityfocus is central to its aim of radically overhauling the firm’s hierarchicalculture.The bank has a balanced scorecard based on its staff diversitysurvey, including questions on how diversity-focused managers are and levels ofstaff satisfaction on what has been achieved.The scorecard collates diversity-data and links it to businessperformance. JP Morgan Chase also funds diversity-focused staff networkinggroups including those approaching retirement, parents, and the lesbian and gayorganisations.Howell believes these groups help staff to feel accepted atwork, improve retention and assist individuals with their career development.”We are trying to move away from a situation where seniorstaff are phoning up payroll shouting ‘Why have I not got paid? Do you know whoI am?’,” Howell said. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more