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Diversity breeds success but more commitment is required

By Johnathan Zemlik


About the Author

Johnathan Zemlik

Head of Contact Centre solutions at Wavenet. Johnathan is committed to using technology to increasing agent engagement, streamline business processes and enable enhanced customer experiences. His expertise encompasses not only core contact centre technologies but also workforce engagement management, PCI-DSS compliance and AI enabled automation solutions. Johnathan leads Wavenet's relationship with industry partners such as the South West Contact Centre Forum and Call North West.


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The lack of diversity in employment is another issue that could slow economic healing post-pandemic. With plenty of ICT jobs to fill, now seems the perfect time to encourage people from all backgrounds to start their tech careers.

The McKinsey & Company’s 2018 ‘Delivering through Diversity’ report explored the benefits of a diverse workforce. It found that

  • organisations in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to excel in profitability and 27% more likely to outperform in value creation
  • companies in the top-quartile for ethnic/cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability
  • only 19% of UK tech workers are women, 15% are from BAME backgrounds.
  • A supporting report from BCS Consulting adds that only 8% have disabilities.

So, are channel players equipping their teams with the skills to hire from a more diverse pool of talent and are they aware of any unconscious bias affecting their decisions?

As the UK looks to bounce back from the effects of Covid, Comms Dealer asked if the ICT channel is doing enough to recruit people regardless of their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability?


The ICT Channel is a tale of two companies, and the most successful are embracing diversity and inclusion! Wavenet places disruptive technology at the heart of our sales methodology. Central in identifying and adopting the next generation of disruptive technologies which give companies a strategic advantage is the ability to think differently based on diverse perspectives. Diversity and inclusion are central to finding candidates with those different perspectives. Companies that actively sign-post support to LGBTQ*, gender diversity, BAME, Neuro-diverse and Disability inclusion will be more agile, more empathetic and able to stay on the leading edge of technology. Furthermore, Diversity and Inclusion are central to keeping your best talent, especially with regards to younger employees who expect proactive D&I within the workplace. 


This isn’t just based on statistics for management consultants, for me, it’s a lived experience. I put my success in the CCaaS space down to experiences I had volunteering for an HIV/AIDS support prevention charity in Yorkshire where I supported the digitisation of service provision, this gave me a unique experience of service users experience and contact centre operation which propelled me into my career in CX Technology. Furthermore, people buy from people, and they tend to trust people like them more, within CX there is a higher proportion of diverse communities in positions of leadership. You’ve only got to go to the CNW or SWCCF awards or national awards to see that!


However, there are far too many companies that don’t think about it D&I, they assume it’ll be ok and they don’t need to do that as it's not for them. Too often their workforces are too homogenous and stagnate when all hands offer the same answer to a problem. It gives these companies a blind spot which risks leaving them behind. Furthermore, as a decision-maker with an impact on the CX Portfolio, checking which companies and suppliers have solid CSR and inclusion credentials is something I always undertake when tendering for partners. Just like many of my end clients and prospects ask for those credentials in turn. If you’re not thinking about it you should start. If not ambitious, inclusive and agile firms are coming for you!


Responses from the ICT channel leaders Comms Dealer questioned on the issue indicate that while some industry players are helping redress the balance, there is still a lot of work to be done to develop workplaces that include people from all walks of life.



Tags: Article, Channel, Diversity, Recruitment, Johnathan Zemlik

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