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Studying the link between diversity and productivity

LSE’s Inclusion Initiative (TII) has received £2 million from the Economic and Social Research Council to study the link between diversity and productivity, in collaboration with researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the University of Sheffield, University College London and University of Warwick.

Over the next three years, Dr. Grace Lordan, Founding Director of TII, will lead this innovative collaboration, Diversity and Productivity in Workplace Education (DaPEW), which will advance understanding of the barriers and facilitators to job creation. a diverse workforce, and will provide new evidence on the impact of diversity on business performance and how companies can maximize the benefits of diverse teams. It will also explore the crucial role of the education system as the starting point of the “leaky pipeline” in which individuals from underrepresented groups may lose opportunities to gain skills and access productive career paths, hindering companies’ efforts to increase diversity. DaPEW will cover traditional measures of diversity (gender, ethnicity), but will also look beyond these to consider socio-economic background, care status, health status and geography.

A A multidisciplinary team will address the project questions using state-of-the-art qualitative and quantitative methods from a number of disciplinary perspectives. An important innovation is that it will work hand-in-hand with companies to design, test and implement the recommendations resulting from its research, directly affecting practice and therefore diversity in the workplace. This will allow DaPEW to have an immediate impact on improving opportunities for underrepresented groups, in addition to increasing diversity in a way that maximizes business benefits.

Dr Lordan said: “A lot of research on topics and productivity, together or separately, points to problems and offers no solutions. I find that completely frustrating. DaPEW’s starting point is solution-based. We will work with businesses, policymakers and other stakeholders to ensure that DaPEW leaves behind a legacy of practical solutions that improve productivity, as well as the experience of underrepresented colleagues throughout their careers. We will have an advisory board made up of the most senior leaders in the business world to ensure that we deliver on our promises. »