Bradford Council has over 8,000 employees and seeks to be an inclusive employer. It is working with Grant Thornton, a private sector company, to apply a tool developed and successfully implemented by Grant Thornton, the Inclusion Maturity Model, to establish the current standing of Bradford Council as an employer. The tool covers all the protected characteristics under the equal treatment legislation.
The Inclusion Maturity Model assesses an organisation on five factors: talent attraction; talent development; strategic development; culture; and external impact. The tool establishes where an organisation stands on the following scale:
- Emergent: The organisation is setting out on its inclusion journey and is doing what it needs to from a regulatory and legal perspective to enable inclusion for colleagues.
- Characteristic – Focussed: The organisation recognises that it needs to provide tailored support to under-represented groups to ‘level the playing field.
- Inclusive: The organisation is breaking down barriers to inclusion for all of its colleagues to enable psychological safety and to help them bring their whole selves to work.
- Systemic: The organisation is reflecting their inclusion culture on every touchpoint with stakeholders, suppliers and clients, leading their sector in inclusive practices.
This initiative is rooted in Bradford Council’s Equality Objectives 2016-2020. One objective is that the Council is well run, fit for business and is fair and inclusive in its approach. This includes a focus on workforce diversity and an ambition for the workforce to more closely represent the communities served, at all levels.
The initiative is being implemented by Grant Thornton and Bradford Council in a district-based approach, with another organisation applying the model for comparative purposes, Yorkshire Building Society, and links made to the Employers Network established by the Council.
A desktop review of processes, practices and procedures against the Inclusion Maturity Model has been completed in Bradford Council. A staff survey to collect staff information and to get feedback on staff perceptions of the inclusion culture in the organisation has been conducted. An ‘As-is’ report on the findings from this work, with recommendations, has been prepared and is under consideration by Bradford Council. An Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is to be prepared, based on this report, with a steering group being convened for this purpose.