By Kirsten Mayer
Senior Vice President, Client Services

Workplace diversity is the understanding and acceptance of the inherent differences between people, and placing value on the contributions that can be made by different races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and abilities. It also acknowledges the differences found in personalities, experiences, skill sets, and knowledge, and champions that all these aspects should be included in the hiring process. For some years now, research has shown that workplaces that feature diverse talents enjoy significantly better financial performance, as well as more creativity and innovation.


We work in a global market, with technology that enables a global talent pool and international collaboration within organisations that themselves operate worldwide. It makes sense, if your company has a major operation in other parts of the world, to include personnel from all these areas in your workforce. They are part of the demographic for whom the pharmaceuticals and/or medical devices are being designed, and there may be location or culture-specific aspects to the process. For too long, big multinationals have been run by a narrowly defined leadership drawn mostly from a certain cross-section of society. This kind of elitism no longer works in today’s world, and it is particularly unhelpful in areas such as the so-called pharmerging markets, where growth is estimated to be fastest.

Diversity of ideas

A diverse workforce will produce more diverse ideas, making for a truly innovative collaboration within any individual company. For example, being fully inclusive to different beliefs, genders, and sexual orientations adds important perspectives to the needs of a diverse market, and can identify gaps that might need filling. This leads to a greater spectrum of intellectual and cultural resources, offering a much wider scope for inspired teamwork.

Larger talent pool

With known skills shortages being encountered in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector, opening the door to a more diverse and inclusive talent pool offers more opportunities for recruitment, and more scope for varying the working environment. Parents, for example, can be tempted to join the workforce with the flexibility offered by mobile technology. Many more jobs could be home-based, or completed on a flexible timescale, to increase the talent pool.

Intellectual growth

The age of social media means that younger generations are already diverse and inclusive in their social activities, and are seeking a working environment that will reflect this. Sharing and embracing differences allows intellectual growth across a much broader spectrum, enhancing their social networks to include work. This will also increase the ability of employees to adapt to the different working styles enabled by today's technology and to create a truly global interaction that will stimulate greater innovation and creativity.

How an RPO partner could help

Cielo, a global strategic Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) partner, can help increase diversity and inclusion with tools like TalVista. This ensures that the job attraction is D&I-aligned, aimed at motivating all varieties of talent to apply. TalVista is an SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform that optimises the recruitment programme in three main ways:

  • Job descriptions are optimised to appeal to a more inclusive candidate pool.
  • Resume reviews are redacted to remove personal information that might influence hiring managers, enabling them to focus only on the candidate's experience and skills.
  • Interviews are structured so that hiring managers follow a scripted and focused process.

TalVista clients who follow these strategies report a 30% increase in gender diversity alone among their applicants. Using a D&I hiring strategy will also enhance the company's visibility in the market as an inclusive employer and appeal to more applicants.

Developing new strategies for selection and assessment and taking advantage of new techniques offered by AI programmes that can scan and neutralise CVs as they are processed can also be offered. This increases the D&I talent pool and ultimately the workforce, as all applicants are treated anonymously and without bias.

Cielo has also launched initiatives to help companies attract career returners: Research had revealed an estimated 96 million people around the world were on career breaks, with 54 million of these being experienced leaders. Women on maternity leave, workers seeking to improve their education, C-Suite managers on stress break, and many other valuable members of the talent pool could be brought back into the workplace by creating a Career Returners programme. In collaboration with businesses suffering a skills shortage, Cielo can help create a strategy that will engage candidates and help provide a way to return to work, bringing their valuable skills up to date, and offering them a real employment opportunity.

The art is in creating a holistic, and often phased, strategy. Focus on how you can combine the most relevant tactics, in a co-ordinated, measurable way, to deliver real and sustainable advances to your organisation within the shortest possible timeframe. Many organisations choose to partner with someone that will help them shape their strategy and do the heavy lifting. If that is an RPO provider such as Cielo, we also become accountable for the success, not just the creation, of the strategy.

Connect with Kirsten Mayer on LinkedIn.