Friday 24 January 2020

Global firms top students' picks for diversity

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Shawn Pogatchnik

IRISH engineering and IT students consider multinationals better able to offer diversity and gender equality than indigenous firms, according to a new survey.

The Universum phone survey asked 1,969 third-level students to identify employers they perceive as offering inclusivity and diversity in their workplaces.

While tech giants dominate the top half of the 41-firm list, Irish companies start to appear only in the bottom half.

Google is first, Ericsson second and Facebook third, followed by Nike, Intel, Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft, Amazon and Accenture.

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The first Irish employer appearing is RTÉ in 20th spot, followed by Irish Rail (34), Ryanair (35), the Irish Aviation Authority (36), Irish Distillers (37) and Aer Lingus (40).

The survey, conducted for recruitment site IrishJobs.ie, found that Generation Z students were keen to work in places alongside colleagues with the broadest possible mix of backgrounds.

Orla Moran, general manager of IrishJobs.ie, said providing a workplace committed to diversity was increasingly seen as a key to recruiting and retaining graduates.

She said young adults viewed diversity not just as a matter of age, ethnicity and gender equality, but includes openness to different personality traits, nationalities, work experience, and socio-economic and educational backgrounds.

"Workplace messaging around culture, diversity and inclusion is becoming increasingly important as it represents a work environment that fosters inclusivity and equality," Ms Moran said. "As a result, companies must recognise that diversity and inclusion is a business initiative and not just a 'nice to have'."

She added: "It is important that businesses take the time to ensure their efforts are meaningful and not viewed as a 'tick the box' exercise.

"Having a diverse and inclusive work environment is important for students when choosing a place of work. By demonstrating a true commitment to diversity and inclusion, organisations can best position themselves to attract and retain upcoming talent."

Irish Independent

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