The actions of AAI’s staff are governed by a set of policies and guidelines, which include coverage of behaviour related to diversity, but more importantly inclusion, across all our work.
We have been discussing single explicit statements on our website regarding diversity in the light of current events. The message for us is spread throughout the AAI site in terms of our track record on recruitment practice that is open to people from as many different backgrounds as possible. The open and accessible nature of the process we use has proved to be successful in attracting numbers of candidates who disclose protected characteristics that are higher than you would expect in relation to the population demographics in Scotland.
Over the last four or five years, while we have been specifically working with what are generally regarded as “diverse” communities. People from different backgrounds have consistently told us that what organisations do is far more important to them than any kind of diversity statement.
AAI’s standard operating procedure is to develop and maintain links with organisations and individuals who are representative of the many diverse communities and communities of interest across Scotland (and the rest of the UK where possible) and to use these links to invite applications to the posts we advertise. This is part of our policy of advertising as widely as we can for any given vacancy.
project which is under the AAI umbrella also massively helps us to get inclusive practice right, as it is entirely focused on working with individuals from BAME backgrounds, and others with specific differences that are discriminated against in daily life in Scotland.
We have a continuous sounding board for individuals to comment on our activity. The reaction from people engaged in this project is very clearly that they don’t really care what statement a company makes about diversity, as they will read between the lines and then see what you do when they interact with you, rather than what you say.