Safety Innovation Video Series: Why is diversity important in health and safety teams?


Safety Innovation Video Series: Why is diversity important in health and safety teams?

Posted on 30 January 2024

The first in our new series of Safety Innovation Videos is with Dr Shaun Davis, Group Director of Safety, Health and Wellbeing at Belron International.

We explore the questions - Why is diversity important in health and safety teams? How to improve diversity via your recruitment strategy? How your recruitment partners can help drive diversity? We also look at how diversity improves partnerships across all levels of an organisation. ​

Why is diversity important in health and safety teams?

​Diversity in health and safety, environment and wellbeing teams is really important. We support, we represent, we partner both with our businesses and with the people within our business. So you've got to appreciate diversity in order to do that. I've got a great team and the thing that makes them particularly good is we are all blind-spot monitors. So we've all got our own little skillset in different areas, but when you bring them together, one of the guys will see something I've not seen and I'll see something they've not seen. So, diversity into kind of thinking, contribution, ways of working, delivery, execution makes it for a much stronger team in my view.

Diversity will enable stronger partnerships.

At times in our profession, we can tend to expect people to work in a way that we expect them to rather than think about what they're doing and partner in the middle. So we can often say, 'the legislation says this, of course you've got to do that' but you need to cut through it and understand what their ways of working are, the organisational culture, customer practise, and come at a solution that is a partnership. And I think appreciating diversity helps you to do that.

How to deliver the message?

Some real tangible examples, things like the way that you might be putting out your communications. It's no longer enough to just say 'it's on the intranet'. You've got to think about the ways that you connect with people, be that through personal interaction, through written communication and medium, through one-to-ones, huddles and think about the breadth because diversity shows up in loads of different ways. It shows up in how you are at work, how your team are, how your relationships are. So it's really important that you appreciate that it's diversity with a 'small d' as in difference and diversity with a 'large D' in terms of the different characteristics of people.

Improve diversity via your recruitment strategy.

So in terms of diversity, in terms of attracting people to your organisation, one of the first things in my experience is you've got to look at that website or that collateral or that material that they've got and think I could fit in there. They look like me or are like me, or I could be like them and feel that sense of opportunity to belong. So if you look at something and it kind of jars, you'll think, that's not for me, and you'll move on. So, diversity of how it looks, feels and sounds is one aspect. Diversity on interview panels so that you're not going into a panel or an interview where you're being faced with a traditional 'suited and booted'. If you're particularly creative or innovative, it might not bring out the best in you or you might feel intimidated if you're a particular gender, for example. So thinking about how that might play out and how you can be more appealing.

How can your recruitment partners help you drive diversity?

I think it's really important that you take recruiters with you on your journey. They understand what your objectives are so they can then help you further them by understanding what it is you're trying to achieve. And also by promoting you, when you're selling into potential candidates, you can then say, this organisation are really, really clear that they want people to bring the whole self to work. They're committed to diversity, they value difference, et cetera, et cetera. So I think it's a win-win because what you're doing is you bring in people who will fit that culture and that desire to work in a diverse workforce whilst also using your partners, as it were, your supplier partners, your, contractors or your recruiters or your other supply chain members to promote your diversity objectives and agenda. So it's win-win for me.

Share this article