1. Introduction Of Business Research Project
Get free written samples by our Top-Notch subject experts and Assignment Helper team.
1.1 Background of the Research
Diversity in the workplace refers to an organization that intentionally employs a workforce comprised of individuals with a range of characteristics, such as “gender”, “religion”, “race”, “age”, “ethnicity”, “sexual orientation”, and other attributes (Khan et al., 2019). In the UK, although a whole lot of companies are trying to diversify their workforces, the different minority groups continue to face unique challenges while opting for getting employed.
According to a new study, Britain has one of the worst records in the world when it comes to gender equality in the workplace, emphasising the significant wage difference for working mothers. While the pay difference between men and women in the United Kingdom is just about 7% for those without children, it increases to 21% for women with at least one child (Monaghan, 2016).
In the preceding five years, the majority of ethnic minority workers have faced racial harassment at work and have been treated unjustly by their employers as a result of their ethnicity (University of Manchester, 2019). Racism is a widespread and endemic aspect of everyday working life in the United Kingdom, despite the existence of anti-racist legislation.
Despite the fact that the LGBT population makes up a large percentage of the consumer market and corporate workforce, several polls show that LGBT individuals continue to experience considerable workplace discrimination. Employees who identify as LGBT sometimes lack the courage to do out at work, and those who do are regularly exposed to discrimination and harassment, ranging from rude customer comments to being forced out without their permission (Bachmann and Gooch, 2018).
The enormous range of workers with disabilities sets them apart from other groups in the notion of "diversity and inclusion." While many people instantly think of physical disabilities, the whole range of effects ranges from vision, movement, and cognition to learning, interaction, psychlogical health, and social contacts (Khan et al., 2019).
Furthermore, older workers are discriminated against due to a variety of unconscious and explicit biases. Firms may, for example, rely heavily on university recruiting to fill specific roles, therefore automatically rejecting older individuals, or job descriptions may be biased toward "entry-level," thereby removing interested older employees who may be considered overqualified (Abdullah and Ku Ismail, 2017).
Therefore, the purpose of this study is to perform a critical examination of Associated British Foods' (ABF) approach to workplace diversity and minority group treatment.
1.2 Research Aim and Objectives
The primary aim of this research is to determine whether Associated British Foods (ABF) offers equal opportunities to different minority groups as a part of its approach towards workplace diversity. The chief aims to be accomplished through this study are as follows:
- To investigate the hiring requirements in Associated British Foods
- To evaluate the level of female hiring appreciation fostered by Associated British Foods
- To investigate whether race, gender, age, etc. are prioritised within the ABF’s recruitment process.
1.3 Research Questions
Q.1) What are the things that are included in the concept of “workplace diversity”?
Q.2) Why is it important to make sure that people from multiple minority groups are included in a workforce?
Q.3) Does ABF focus more on hiring women, or does it consider other groups well in its approach towards diversification?
Q.4) Can ABF’s workforce be considered genuinely “diverse”?
1.4 Research Significance
“Diversity” is a loaded term, which encompasses much more than what meets the eye. While many companies claim to have diversified their workforces, in reality, all they do is to include women and assign them important positions. This approach invariably leaves out many other minority groups, including which is integral to the formation of a diverse workplace. The current study is thus significant because it closely analyses ABF’s approach towards diversity, to determine whether the company includes the different minority groups to offer them better opportunities, or if it prioritises a single group (like women).
2. Literature Review
2.1 Chapter overview
Leadership is situational as the qualities of individuals and organizations contribute to special views and attitudes (Morgan and Várdy, 2009). A published study Women in the Workplace 2018 demonstrates that women are claiming leadership but frequently confront a workforce that sets the obstacles significantly. The research also shows that men may not be completely aware of these difficulties or be able to detect them. They underestimate barriers or struggle to comprehend why women are so upset about problems, which makes it harder for women to deal with them(Ilmakunnas and Ilmakunnas, 2011). Any business seeking to profit from the tremendous contribution of women’s passion and skills must react and help women to thrive. In the light of this above-mentioned perception, women are often provided with the position of leadership in many organizations. According to Greenetal. (2002),however, it becomes a core concept of research whether including them in the workplace will satisfy the need of another diversified concept such as age, race, ethnicity and disabilities. Often companies try to introduce female leaders in their originations and try to portray a culture of inclusion and diversification which might be deceptive sometimes. This literature review section will provide a precise concept on the subject and throw light on the perceptions of different proponents in different journal articles and other scholarly papers.
2.2 TheImplication of The Term Diversity Defining the Workplace Context
As per Foma (2014), the concept of diversification relates to the presence in a set of people of deviations of various traits. Such features might make people distinct, as well as the facts that shape the identification, personal knowledge and interpersonal qualities (e.g., race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, cultural background). In a social setting, one might consider it in order to better comprehend and define variety. Anyone might engage with employees of various sexes, different ages, religions, etc. at work. As per Dike (2013),one needs to reflect on all the qualities employees might have in order for anyone to develop an understanding of workplace diversity. In the first place, people have the safeguarded features of race, age, sexuality and gender. Workplace diversity is also strongly related to discriminatory practices.
Specific traits of persons with discrimination and biased hiring practices make it hard for companies to realize and sustain diversification. The sentence “Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)” can commonly be used in recruitment and HR areasTamunomiebi and John-Eke (2020). There is one reason why these two conditions are different; different employees do not build an inclusive workplace naturally in which every person is appreciated and provides happiness. Kiamba31 (2009), in order to establish a diverse and inclusive environment, businesses might include persons or teams (i.e., the D&I Manager) to develop anti-discrimination policies throughout the company and ensure equal chances for all candidates and workers irrespective of their classified qualities.
2.3 Concept of Female Leadership
As per the opinion of Surawicz (2016), gender diversity alludes to an equal basis for men and women in the professional context. Computing, production, health and research are some of the most famous industries in which male workers dominate over women. For an efficient and equitable workplace environment, the same balance between men and women is more frequently needed. Gender diversity in organizational culture implies that men and women are compensated similar pay and equal job opportunities are provided at a comparable level. Only around 5% of the women, who make up 40 per cent of the world’s employment, hold senior positions. Still, however, annual incomes are not equivalent for males in the same occupations. Most companies are committed to achieving gender diversity. According to Paustian-Underdahl, Walker and Woehr (2014), while gender diversity is essential, it also has many more immediate and significant advantages connected to the financial line of an organization.
Gender diverse businesses outperform their competition and make larger profits. Diversification of gender is crucial. Ensure that women are fairly represented on the job can have beneficial results throughout the business. Brilliance does not differentiate the gender. Rather, skills and excellent management are identified. As per Chin (2011), that is why the most prestigious organizations, supporting equality between the sexes, are receptive to a varied and fair working environment.
2.4 Defining the Aspect of Gender-Based Recruitment
The fact that fewer women achieve positions of power and control is well established for a multitude of reasons. The “glass ceiling” influence is termed as a phenomenon, wherein the systematic gender imbalance nevertheless seems to present the basic obstacles (Hopkins etal., 2008). Recent hiring approaches has characterized this phenomenon as affected by “unconscious biases,” or changes that occur in human subconscious thoughts that are skewing the decision-making on specific results. As per Kubu (2018), this might happen even if people assume that they are honest and impartial.Contrary to that an International Finance Corporation research shows that integrating more females into businesses not only helps preserve their interests but also benefits businesses.
This aspect has also been used by the company to debunk the idea of being non-diversified. Most of the companies have tried to focus on women leadership to create an image of inclusive and non-discriminatory authorities which sharpens the market image of the company. According to Smith (2015),the above-discussed report hasdemonstrated the following advantages from recruiting women from a number of case studies by firms in various sectors across the world:
Access to the best available talent: The number of prospective experts covering openings has risen from low-skilled to senior executives. Talented and hard-working women are found across several industries who can sabotage the conventional ideas which emphasise on the ability of men to become a leader.
Improvements in productivity and innovation:As perCuadrado, Morales and Recio (2008), there is growing evidence that perhaps the co-existence of males and females in the same professional setting helps toestablish more creative teams; diversification is crucial to the enterprises of the coming years.
Strengthening team dynamics: Women often have the ability to unify individuals and pull ideas and suggestions together.
Reduced staff turnover and long-term relations:Instead of employing new workers to fulfil gaps or roles, businesses might prefer to fund women employee training and development (Fine and Sojo, 2019).
Better work environment: They may empathize with people via compassion and admiration since they are usually more individualized and concentrated on the requirements of others (Lightfooteetal., 2016). Their readiness to provide information and communicate benefits to the solution of disagreements.
2.5 Rationalization of the Implication of Gender-Based Recruitment on Satisfying Other Aspects of Diversity
As per Norbash and Kadom (2020), candidates promoting diversification often include those who have different ideas. This comprises members of non-traditional groupings and individuals of the majority population with financial, academic or geographical origins distinct from most members of an organization. Minority candidates are characterized as non-dominant team members. As per Brynin and Güveli (2012), hiring diverse people aggressively targets job applicants from various backgrounds takes efforts to guarantee more inclusionary talent acquisition procedures and removes impediments to all applicants’ ability to have equal opportunities during the recruitment processes. As per the opinion of Tamunomiebi and John-Eke (2020), for inclusiveness, a more contemporary approach has been taken to diversity that includes various groups, like females, war members and LGBTQIA+ people.
These changes in the term underscore the turbulent history of different communities combating lack of representation in leadership positions in corporations and governments, pay disparities and workplace discrimination. Companies in various sectors have capitalized on the aspect of women leadership and encouraged their applicants on the basis of their inclusion of female members in the important job positions. though it might seem to be an extremely progressive approach by the modern da companies yet the real idea behind the concept might distort the real cause of the issue. It is often seen that including females has become a strategy to showcase the inclination to the concept of diversity. As per Norbash and Kadom (2020),women’s job prosperity in the UK reaches unprecedented levels in past years, but the continuing degree of uneven wages and authority or discrimination at the workplace impair the capacity of women to flourish. Some categories face greater obstacles – for instance, black women have a greater salary disparity than white females – and while the impact of COVID-19 continues to be recognized, recent statistics show that women have suffered the most from most economic measures. According to Smith (2015), failure to properly accept the skills of women over more than half of the population, not only harm people but also affect the prosperity of enterprises.
Worldwide demonstrations over race and the effect of COVID-19 have presented “a time of change, a time of acceleration” to the 30% Club that was initiated a decade earlier, said Ann Cairns, global chairwoman. The initial goal of the club was to ensure that women held at least 30 per cent of the British company board seats. Cairns said it wants to see 175 women of colour in CEO roles in the top firms in Britain by 2023, in line with increasing demands for inclusion over the whole of their lives (Chin, 2011). The entire aspect shows that although the employment and inclusion of women are seen as the cornerstone to initiate diversity yet the exclusion of other diversity catachrestic such as race, age, ethnicity remains at the core of corporate context.
2.6 Literature Gap
The entire research has presented a thorough understanding regarding the aspects associated with the concept of diversity and how the inclusion of women in leadership influences the certainty of diversification from several characteristics focus such as race, age, ethnicity etc (Tamunomiebi and John-Eke, 2020). However, while discussing the factors a few aspects could not be addressed and rationalized due to several constraints. The entire literature review is not focused on a specific company while the data are derived from different reports, journals and articles. It restricted the literature review to unfold the various nuances of diversification in the corporate context.
3. Research Methodology
3.1 Research Philosophy
A “research philosophy” is a collection of ideas on the most effective technique for collecting, analyzing, and applying data about a phenomenon. The term “epistemology”refers to “what is known to be true” as opposed to “doxology,” or “what is believed to be true.” The term encompasses a variety of research techniques (Ryan, 2018). The research philosophy encapsulates the researcher’s fundamental assumptions, which form the basis of the study strategy.
The current study will employ the “interpretive" research philosophy, which is predicated on the concept that the researcher has a specific role to perform in monitoring the social environment. According to this research philosophy, the study is inspired and determined by the researcher’s interests. The term “interpretivism” refers to a methodological technique that is frequently employed in qualitative research to approach “non-numerical” data from a wide viewpoint, taking into account various characteristics of the selected topic of study.
3.2 Research Approach
The deductive approach is the one with which the majority of people associate scientific inquiry. The researcher reviews prior work, analyses current theories about the phenomena being studied, and then evaluates hypotheses derived from those theories. This approach is superior than the previous one in a number of ways. For example, it enables the researcher to demonstrate causal links between ideas and variables, it enables the analyst to quantitatively quantify concepts, and it also enables the analyst to generalise research findings to a certain level. Considering all of these advantages, this method was used in the current investigation (Woiceshyn and Daellenbach, 2018).
3.3 Data Collection Method
The systematic gathering and analysis of data on important elements in order to answer specific research questions, test hypotheses, and assess outcomes is referred to as data collection. At the most basic level, data are classified as “quantitative” or “qualitative.” Secondary qualitative data was used to get the essential data for ABF’s research. Secondary quantitative research is sometimes referred to as "desk research," implying that the researchers rely on already collected data, referred to as secondary data. This is the kind of data which has been employed in this study technique. This existing data is then analyzed and organised to increase the overall efficacy of the investigation (Moser and Korstjens, 2018). The research work has been conducted using the case study approach, which generally entails numerous data gathering procedures from multiple sources. Secondary qualitative data about the firm was obtained from its official reports and website. Only those papers and websites that provide the most pertinent information about the chosen subject have been consulted, in order to guarantee that the study does not veer off course.
3.4 Data Analysis Method
The current study employs the approach of theme analysis, which is particularly well-suited for analysing the findings of an interview. To be specific, “thematic analysis” is a technique for analysing qualitative data. It is commonly used to conduct a critical analysis of a collection of texts, regardless of their format, whether they are an interview transcript, website content, or journal article. The researcher conducts a thorough analysis of the data in order to identify recurrent themes - subjects, ideas, and patterns of meaning (Johnston, 2017). This technique of data analysis was utilised in the current study to analyse the data obtained from ABF’s official website and “Gender Pay Gap Reports” in a suitable manner, according to the research goals.
For the sake of gathering the needed secondary data in the current study, four pertinent contents have been made use of. The first one that has been perused thoroughly is a PDF document entitled “Environmental, Social and Governance Appendix 2020”; the second one is another PDF which is entitled “A Level Playing Field for Talent”. The third and fourth documents that have been used in the study are the “Gender Pay Gap Reports” of the years 2019 and 2020. The researcher has thoroughly gone through these four documents for amassing the required data.
3.6 Research Instruments
The researcher, for getting access to the data, has made intensive use of the internet. Since the research demanded authentic and accurate information about the chosen company, Associated British Foods, the researcher had to resort to the use of the organizational information which is let out for public perusal on the company’s official website. The effective search engine of Google has been utilized for finding out the relevant websites, and the particular documents mentioned in the previous section.
3.7 Ethical Considerations
While analyzing the amassed data for arriving at plausible conclusions, the researcher has made sure that the entire process remains ethically sound. For this, the researcher has not claimed the originality of the gathered information. He has strictly adhered to the standards and rules of the Harvard referencing style to mention the sources of the ideas and information that have been presented in the study. Not an iota of the organizational data, derived from the mentioned sources has been manipulated in any manner. The researcher has chosen only those documents for using which no special permission is required. Finally, the researcher has made a fresh study, avoiding any unethical practices, to ensure the originality and authenticity of the research study.
4.1 Case Study
A level playing field for talent
According to Mark Carr, “CEO of AB Sugar” and “Chair of the ABF Gender Diversity Task Force,” When he was appointed as the head of the Gender Diversity Task Force two years ago, the talent issue was at the forefront of ABF’s considerations (Associated British Foods plc, 2013). Their objective was to guarantee an inclusive approach to create a strong pipeline of future talent. In order to create a level playing field for creativity, it was essential to making sure that everyone, regardless of gender, has equal chances for growth and development. They also felt that the ABF squad needed to reflect the range of society in order to avoid bringing up the rear.
Additionally, there was a compelling commercial rationale for gender diversity. Women are increasingly making major purchasing decisions, and in many nations, women own more financial assets than males. Additionally, there is compelling evidence that firms with female executives do better in terms of “return on investment,”“profits growth,” and “share price.”
ABF’s aim is for the organisation to reflect the variety seen in society, and they continue to require more senior female representation and role models. To this aim, they strive to include at least one woman on the waitlist for every senior leadership post and to guarantee that the screening panel requires at least 1 woman. Naturally, they are and would continue to be a meritocracy, and then they will hire the best candidate for the position. Their job now is to gather gender diversity learnings across ABF and formalise them in a manner that divisions will accept. Their aim is that gender diversity would become a matter of course. Carr expressed his gratitude to his colleagues on the “Task Force” and throughout ABF for their support and dedication to this critical subject.
The “Gender Diversity Task Force,” chaired by Mark Carr, is made up of 14 original members representing six Divisions and two central members. Its declared aim is to optimise talent by integrating techniques into their core development procedures that allow women to thrive on an equal basis with their colleagues within ABF. With future leadership reliant on complicated information and inventions, new leadership models are expected to place a greater emphasis on idea integration, cooperation, and inclusion — characteristics more frequently associated with women. As a result, women’s underrepresentation in senior management might result in a loss of commercial potential. In general, there appears to be a favourable link between gender parity in leadership and corporate performance. To handle the requirements of a multicultural, varied, complicated, and unpredictable world, homogenous executive committees and company executives of white males between the ages of 50 and 65 may not be the ideal solution - much more so if they have the same country and educational background. Men and women with complementary talents and personalities, especially those on the leadership team, benefit business: gender diversity is recognized to encourage innovation and a strong leadership team.
As per Associated British Foods plc (2013), The "ABF Gender Diversity Task Force" is intended to guarantee that the firm is able to adapt, through “gender-divergence programmes” that are fundamental to its Talent agenda, to structural/demographic trends currently impacting the organisation. Diversity and inclusion are properly implemented and become a fundamental component of employee commitment, favourably linked with employee retention, increased knowledge of the collective social identity and a profitable resource of cutting-edge design.
The initiatives on gender diversity at ABF
The 2010 Talent Review Survey conducted across “GWF,”“Grocery UK,”“ACH,” and the “Weston Centre” provided the motivation for ABF’s quest for increased gender diversity. It highlighted impediments to women’s professional advancement and made a commercial rationale for gender-balanced leadership. Workers of ABF have spent the last two years entering more gender diversity within ABF as a critical component of their Talent Agenda.
When Carr was appointed head of the “Gender Diversity Task Force,” the talent issue was at the forefront of the considerations. The aim of Carr and his colleagues was to ensure that ABF adopted an integrated strategy in order to develop a strong future talent stream (Associated British Foods plc, 2013). This needed a levelling of the game of talent and guaranteeing equal possibilities for development and advancement for all employees, irrespective of sex. Carr and colleagues moreover thought that the ABF team must take into account the diversity of the community as a whole; else something could be lost.
Additionally, there was a compelling commercial rationale for gender diversity. The efforts at ABF firms provide a plethora of possibilities. They recognise that more work needs to be done in terms of increasing awareness and addressing entrenched beliefs, behaviours, and attitudes. However, ABF has claimed that they have achieved significant progress in a short period of time and have already made considerable headway toward their goal of providing a fair playing field for all of their talents.
ABF’s approach to diversity
According to British Foods plc (2019), Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are critical components of the Associated British Foods culture since a diversity of talents and views strengthens their companies. Underpinned by the motto ‘No Barriers to Talent,’ they strive to build diverse, inclusive workforces where everyone’s dignity is recognized and individuals are appreciated regardless of ethnic or racial origin, religion, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, or handicap. Additionally, they aim to eliminate all forms of prejudice and obstacles, real and imagined.
As a result of their decentralized structure, many of their operations have their own diversity policies, programs, and diversity and inclusion teams. Several group-wide efforts involve their Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which brings together members from throughout the organisation to exchange information and incorporate best practices into their core processes, as well as management training on unconscious bias. Additionally, there is the Two-Way Mentoring programme, which has benefited over 260 individuals from 16 countries by providing mentoring and assistance from a senior leader in a separate organisation.
Promoting gender balance
Recognizing the critical nature of finding, recruiting, and developing the finest talent, they strive to advance their recruitment procedures, strive to interview a gender-balanced shortlist, and provide a variety of training options that assist level the power balance throughout the company.
For example, for some years, they have hosted Women in ABF (previously Women’s Business Education Forum) seminars for female co-workers in professional or management capacities in their European businesses. They are held three times a year and give an opportunity for the 700-plus members to network, discuss their professional experiences, learn about one another’s enterprises, and learn from guest speakers. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, these events are now presented electronically, with the CEO as well as other business executives speaking and taking part in open Q&A sessions. Their most recent incident had 258 participants, a 60% increase over the February 2019 members-only event.
As per British Foods plc (2019)a, AB Enzymes, an ABF Ingredients division, has its own Women’s Business Forum, which meets quarterly and brings together 18 women from throughout the company’s activities to work on the D&I strategy. While their work on gender equality and women’s empowerment is still growing, they will continue to uncover gaps and enhance their influence on this vital problem via regular monitoring and conversation with professionals and business partners throughout their supply chain.
Gender pay gap
According to Associated British Foods plc (2019)b, women account for 53% of ABF’s overall global workforce. As in past years, they have knowingly and willingly disclosed the gender pay gap for their employees in the United Kingdom as of 5 April 2020. Over half of their workforce is based outside of the United Kingdom and is thus excluded from their gender pay study.
In the United Kingdom, the gender pay gap has remained consistent with comparable data from last year. The salary disparity continues to favour women, as they have a sizable proportion of male employees working in manufacturing areas. Women earn 8.8 per cent more than males on a theory basis, whereas women earn 79.4 per cent more on a bonus basis. Because they have a steady senior staff, the gender balance at the top of the standings varies slowly. The higher proportion of senior males in this bonus pool distorts the mean bonus gap.
The data below are true as of 5th April 2019 and reflect both the average and median disparity in salary and benefits between genders at “ABF Grain Products Ltd.”
- ABF Grain Products Ltd engaged 5,637 workers as of this date, including 4,497 men and 1,140 women (20.2 per cent of their workforce.);
- The ABF Grain Products Ltd fosters gender pay disparity is -4.7 per cent in favour of women in 2019, compared to a 14.3 per cent pay difference in favour of males in the UK in 2018.
- Their data continues to show an equitable wage distribution between women and men throughout their organisation.
(Source: Associated British Foods plc, 2019)
- Women are highly represented in their managerial ranks; however, their board structures are now roughly 2:1 male to female.
- They are implementing efforts throughout their companies to increase their workforce population’s focus on diversity. Unconscious Bias instruction for all of the people managers and Leading Inclusively workshops for leaders are two examples of this.
- They are developing programmes to promote the growth of outstanding women throughout their organisation, with the goal of increasing the number of women in senior management and board roles over time.
(Source: Associated British Foods plc, 2020)
A diverse workplace is about establishing an inclusive atmosphere that accepts the different characteristics of each person and enables all staff to realize all their capabilities and to make it possible for the company to attain its highest performance. If businesses appreciate the diversity amongst people, then each one may bring their amazing perspectives to the workplace, others, inspiration, creativity, and experience. The diversity of workplaces is not simply a form of inclusion, but something that most firms aim to accomplish. Although it will enhance company image, there are many more obvious advantages that might affect the business positively. The role of leadership requires a range of cognitive as well as emotive qualities which helps a corporation to form the basis of a standard performance. The rol3e of leadership is often associated with men whereas in the contemporary commercial environment the need for the inclusion of women is highly realized and also prioritized by companies. In the contextual case of the chosen company, the ABF, the importance of focusing on women inclusion is emphasized. Companies like ABF has been focusing on the employment of women in executive and leading positions to cultivate the culture of an inclusive workplace environment and also to enhance the image of the company.
Although the integration of women is also prioritized because of the requirement of advanced, skilled and talented people where the participation of women in the modern era has increased positively making them compatible to participate in diffident leadership roles. When skilled, motivated and self-aware individuals approach the pool, the fight on talents gets intensified. As a consequence, companies are rapidly changing to a competitive candidate-driven economy from a dominating corporate market. As diversity comes across the workplaces, widening conversations on diversification, inclusiveness and how to really integrate it with a company or corporate strategy and assess the return on investment starts. One of those talks is to cultivate talented women and use that competitive edge. This is not always tangible to recognize the importance of inclusivity and might thus be difficult to grasp. The enhancement of talented women was one of the areas of concentration for diversity initiatives.
Establishing women’s talent has become not only great for business but quickly becomes a significant competitive advantage for progressive brands. ABF has understood the value of women incorporation and therefore taken advanced measures to ensure that women participants are tactically on board to maximize the talent generation within the operational practices. ABF has recognized that to ensure women inclusion and more opportunities for women to proactively take on leadership roles. The company thought through the ideas such as the improvement of training and networking, raising awareness etc. to create a better comprehension and incorporation of women leaders. ABF realized the requirement of having women talents across their business operations so that they can complement male professional companions, especially to foster innovation and creativity.
The value of women to encouragecompassion and unity through passionate approaches is recognized by the company which initiated the agenda to equalize the professional positioning of women. In order to capitalize on the women talents, the authority of the company had identified a few barriers and resolute to resolve them to encourage a more diverse culture in terms of the inclusion aspect. This attempt was catered to integrate people of different ages races, ethnicity, nationality etc. It created opportunity irrespective of the diverse traits which broadened the scope for women to count themselves in significant positions and empowered them to initiate their authority. Not only creating opportunity through policies and resolutions is enough to develop an equal workforce rather allowing them to get the practical expe4rience and exposure to various experiential processes is also equally important that will reflect and enable them to become more compatible for their roles.
ABF has understood the importance of exposing women to those experiences through advanced training processes to make sure that men and women are provided with equal opportunities to increase their skills and possibilities. The company has emphasized mitigating the existing challenges that restrict women from participating in advanced professional activities. Closing the wage gap help society and might also enhance company performance and boost the world economy. Lower-income for women reinforces discrimination against women, reduces autonomy and market control.
This aspect is significantly associated with the contemporary corporate sector where the hierarchies are aware of the need for equal pay for both men and women which will bolster the diversity aspect within the company. ABF has maintained its pay structure for both men and women to assure that the attempt of encouraging inclusion and diversity remains consistent.
The entire discussion was centred on the rationalisation of the data found through an extensive evaluation of the data derived from the case study on ABF. The issue of inclusion and diversity was contemplated over the discussion sector to find a practical interpretation of the relevant subject. The discussion revolved around the illustration of the initiatives taken by the ABF to equalise the position of women and men in leadership positions. The discussion was developed to ensure that a precise and coherent understanding could be established regarding the subject to justify the aim of the research topic. It was found that the ABF company is highly aware of the idea of gender diversification along with the other aspects of diversity that critically represent the brand standard.
Constructing a workplace that incorporates diversity does not only imply recruiting more women and guaranteeing salary equality. Although this is definitely a decent beginning step, gender inequality is a systemic issue profoundly arrayed and thus demands some essential effort. This is why the traditional method of ‘adding women and moving’ is always destined to fail. The creation of a supporting and inclusive culture sets the foundations for the understanding and appreciation of different and underprivileged perspectives. A supporting atmosphere of inclusion is required to be successful at work for women. But diversities and employment inclusion are not merely a hiring trend; over the decades, it’s less a question of age, gender and colour being simply shaped, and more about recruiting more individuals to make firms more value-worthy. Corporate leaders are progressively witnessing a number of real advantages for the firm and its workers to promote diversity in the workplace.
Each individual, irrespective of his/her gender classification, is encouraged and appreciated by a fully inclusive working atmosphere. But quite often the concept of inclusion is centred on the recruitment of women. Certain organizations rely on the hiring of women as the strategy of building brand image whereas the other characteristic association of race, colour and ethnicity remain unresolved as for instance, in some cases black women are not provided equal wage compared to white women which reflect that only inclusion of women does not shape the concept of diversity. In the present research, the subject has been thoroughly evaluated in the context of Associated British Food. The research has focused on the strategy of diversification employed by the ABF group and whether they consider diversity from all the probable aspects.
In a nutshell, the research has presented the direction of the company that encourages women to be part of the greater leadership roles and how they satisfy the need of inclusion respecting age, race and other dimensions of diversity simultaneously. It reflects that the company has initiated approaches aligned with their aim of achieving gender diverse workplace and providing better opportunities for women in their professional setting.
The concept of diversity can be achieved through fostering better approaches to cover all the factors of a diversified workplace that will not focus only on the advancement of women but also will include women of colour, different ethnicity and marital status. It will allow the companies to accomplish the ultimate goal of establishing a diverse work culture positively. A range of recommendations can be presented in relation to the subject.
- Companies need to focus on the inclusion of women of colour and promote talented women to achieve their goals while being equally respectful towards them. Most of the companies discriminate among people based on their racial identity which can be curbed by making efforts to integrate all of them on the basis of skills. The diminishing pay gap between white and black women is the stepping stone for many British companies.
- Companies can create a plan for new mothers who can participate in leadership roles while having ample opportunities for child nurturing.
- Including women of age and after retirement plans for women can be introduced to make sure that all the diversified groups are included.
6.3 Future research Scope
Future researchers will have a wide range of scopes considering the opportunity for further exploration of the subject. The issue of diversity has been a constant topic of conversation in the corporate context which redefines the significance of the subject. In future studies, the researchers can explore the challenges faced by diversified groups in the corporate sphere and compare the strategies adopted by global originations to evaluate the efficacy of strategic approaches.
Abdullah, S.N. and Ku Ismail, K.N.I., 2017. Gender, ethnic and age diversity of the boards of large Malaysian firms and performance. Abdullah, SN, & Ismail, KNIK (2013). Gender, Ethnic and Age Diversity of the Boards of Large Malaysian Firms and Performance. JurnalPengurusan, 38, pp.27-40.
Associated British Foods plc, 2013. A Level Playing Field for Talent. [online] Available at: https://www.abf.co.uk/documents/pdfs/2013/2013-diversity-report.pdf [Accessed 19 Aug. 2021].
Associated British Foods plc, 2019a. ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE Appendix 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.abf.co.uk/documents/pdfs/2020/ar2020/abf_2020_esg-appendix.pdf [Accessed 19 Aug. 2021].
Associated British Foods plc, 2019b. ABF Grain Products Ltd – Gender Pay Gap Report 2019. [online] Available at: https://www.abf.co.uk/abf-grain-products-ltd-gender-pay-gap-report-2019 [Accessed 19 Aug. 2021].
Associated British Foods plc, 2020. ABF Grain Products Ltd – Gender Pay Gap Report 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.abf.co.uk/abf-grain-products-ltd-gender-pay-gap-report-2020 [Accessed 19 Aug. 2021].
Bachmann, C.L. and Gooch, B., 2018. LGBT IN BRITAIN. [online] Stonewall. Available at: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/system/files/lgbt_in_britain_work_report.pdf [Accessed 19 Aug. 2021].
Brynin, M. and Güveli, A., 2012. Understanding the ethnic pay gap in Britain. Work, employment and society, 26(4), pp.574-587.
Chin, J.L., 2011. Women and leadership: Transforming visions and current contexts. In Forum on Public Policy Online (Vol. 2011, No. 2). Oxford Round Table. 406 West Florida Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801.
Cuadrado, I., Morales, J.F. and Recio, P., 2008. Women’s access to managerial positions: An experimental study of leadership styles and gender. The Spanish journal of psychology, 11(1), pp.55-65.
Dike, P., 2013. The impact of workplace diversity on organisations.
Fine, C. and Sojo, V., 2019. Women’s value: beyond the business case for diversity and inclusion. The Lancet, 393(10171), pp.515-516.
Foma, E., 2014. Impact of workplace diversity. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 3(1), p.382.
Green, K.A., López, M., Wysocki, A. and Kepner, K., 2002. Diversity in the workplace: Benefits, challenges, and the required managerial tools. EDIS, 2002(2).
Hopkins, M.M., O’Neil, D.A., Passarelli, A. and Bilimoria, D., 2008. Women’s leadership development strategic practices for women and organizations. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 60(4), p.348.
Ilmakunnas, P. and Ilmakunnas, S., 2011. Diversity at the workplace: whom does it benefit?. De Economist, 159(2), pp.223-255.
Johnston, M.P., 2017. Secondary data analysis: A method of which the time has come. Qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries, 3(3), pp.619-626.
Khan, N., Korac?Kakabadse, N., Skouloudis, A. and Dimopoulos, A., 2019. Diversity in the workplace: An overview of disability employment disclosures among UK firms. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 26(1), pp.170-185.
Kiamba31, J.M., 2009. Women and leadership positions: Social and cultural barriers to success. Wagadu Volume 6 Journal of International Women’s Studies Volume 10: 1, p.89.
Kubu, C.S., 2018. Who does she think she is? Women, leadership and the ‘B’(ias) word. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 32(2), pp.235-251.
Lightfoote, J.B., Deville, C., Ma, L.D., Winkfield, K.M. and Macura, K.J., 2016. Diversity, inclusion, and representation: it is time to act. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 13(12), pp.1421-1425.
Monaghan, A., 2016. UK has one of worst records for gender equality at work – report. The Guardian. [online] 17 May. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/18/uk-has-one-of-worst-records-for-gender-equality-at-work-report.
Morgan, J. and Várdy, F., 2009. Diversity in the Workplace. American Economic Review, 99(1), pp.472-85.
Moser, A. and Korstjens, I., 2018. Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 3: Sampling, data collection and analysis. European journal of general practice, 24(1), pp.9-18.
Norbash, A. and Kadom, N., 2020. The business case for diversity and inclusion. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 17(5), pp.676-680.
Paustian-Underdahl, S.C., Walker, L.S. and Woehr, D.J., 2014. Gender and perceptions of leadership effectiveness: A meta-analysis of contextual moderators. Journal of applied psychology, 99(6), p.1129.
Ryan, G., 2018. Introduction to positivism, interpretivism and critical theory. Nurse researcher, 25(4), pp.41-49.
Smith, A.E., 2015. On the edge of a glass cliff: Women in leadership in public organizations. Public Administration Quarterly, pp.484-517.
Surawicz, C.M., 2016. Women in leadership: why so few and what to do about it. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 13(12), pp.1433-1437.
Tamunomiebi, M.D. and John-Eke, E.C., 2020. Workplace Diversity: Emerging Issues in Contemporary. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 10(2).
University of Manchester, 2019. Racism is still a huge problem in UK’s workplaces, finds report. [online] Racism is still a huge problem in UK’s workplaces, finds report. Available at: https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/racism-is-still-a-huge-problem/.
Woiceshyn, J. and Daellenbach, U., 2018. Evaluating inductive vs deductive research in management studies: Implications for authors, editors, and reviewers. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal.