UK diversity and inclusion roles up 58% in five years

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
'Businesses are rethinking organisational culture, allyship and accountability,' experts say. Photo: Christina@wocintechchat.com/Unsplash
'Businesses are rethinking organisational culture, allyship and accountability,' experts say. Photo: Christina@wocintechchat.com/Unsplash

With diverstity and inclusion (D&I) becoming increasingly important for UK businesses, demand for D&I roles has shot up in recent years, data shows.

D&I roles have risen by 58% in the past five years, with one fifth being in leadership positions, LinkedIn found.

In fact, the UK has the second-highest number of D&I professionals in the world — behind only the United States — employing almost twice as many per 10,000 employees than any other country.

What’s more, D&I job postings shot up by a third between June 2019 and 2020, the study found.

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D&I roles in the UK have grown four times faster than HR roles in the past five years.

The top five fastest growing D&I roles in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are director of diversity, diversity officer, head of diversity, diversity consultant, and diversity manager, the study found.

Meanwhile, the top five industries in EMEA with the greatest demand for D&I professionals over the past five years are consumer goods, legal, software and IT services, manufacturing, and recreation and travel.

The current average tenure for a D&I employee in the UK is 4.9 years, and nearly a quarter (22%) of D&I professionals are hired internally. 

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Despite this progress, “clearly more needs to be done,” said Janine Chamberlin, director at LinkedIn.

She said: “Businesses are rethinking organisational culture, allyship and accountability, as well as how they attract and importantly retain diverse talent.

“This means carefully assessing everything from the language of job postings to ensure people from diverse backgrounds feel encouraged and empowered to apply, to having clear career development opportunities so people feel they belong and can reach their full potential.

“D&I professionals have a crucial role to play in instigating change and steering companies towards creating fairer, equitable and inclusive workplaces.”