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INvolve’s Suki Sandhu on where businesses fail on diversity

Companies need to get the balance right between diversity and inclusion (D&I) to truly foster the talent of all their employees, according to one of the UK’s leading experts on diversity in business.

Speaking to Yahoo Finance UK, Suki Sandhu OBE, founder and CEO of executive search firm Audeliss, said the biggest mistake companies make with D&I is that it’s treated as a box-ticking exercise, “which is the worst if I’m honest.”

It’s great if a company wants to hire diverse talent, but if they leave within six months “the business would feel, and see, and recognise that kind of turnover,” said Sandhu,

“That’s where businesses fail,” he said. “They invest a lot into hiring and then don’t think about the values, the behaviours, that sense of belonging … you have to do both hand in hand, they’re not mutually exclusive.”

Suki Sandhu OBE. Photo: Yahoo Finance

To foster inclusive environments, Sandhu recommended companies think about including sponsorship or mentorship programmes to help internal talent grow, develop, and climb the ladder.

Sandhu also heads up INvolve, a network that champions diversity and inclusion in business. INvolve released its annual EMpower Ethnic Minority Role model lists last week, which feature leaders who are getting the balance between D&I right.

Topping the Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives list was Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, while Salesforce business operations manager Farah Sidiqqui led the Top 50 Future Leaders list. The top spot for this year’s Top 15 Advocates ranking was Nick Owen, chairman of Deloitte North-West Europe.