Good Business Charter diversity and inclusion feature image

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion

The GBC requires organisations to commit to ensure their workplace is an inclusive place to work and have measures in place to encourage diversity and monitor it in ways appropriate to the size of their organisation. 

What it is

The Equality Act 2010 protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society.

It set outs a range of protected characteristics. These are:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Gender reassignment
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability including mental health issues
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Religion or belief

There is also an increasing focus on socio-economic background and improving social mobility.

Diversity is about recognising and valuing difference and the benefits of a representative workforce. Inclusion is the practices that ensure the workplace is inclusive of all and that every individual feels respected, valued, accepted and included within their workplace and can bring their whole selves to work.

Why it matters

A diverse, equal and inclusive culture is imperative for a business to continue to thrive because it puts its people at the heart of its operation. When people feel valued and included, they are more likely to flourish at work. More diverse teams lead to better business outcomes. Diversity will also boost the reputation and brand of a business in line with an increasingly globalised working world.

A more diverse workforce and inclusive workplace therefore offers many advantages; including improved customer orientation and service, innovation, productivity, profitability, morale and staff retention.

CEO pay ratio

Under this component we also ask organisations with over 50 workers to report their CEO pay ratio.  This is a legal requirement for listed companies with over 250 workers in recognition of the “widespread perception that executive pay has become increasingly disconnected from both the pay of ordinary working people and the underlying long-term performance of companies” (Corporate Governance Reform green paper) and that it contributes to public distrust and shareholder dissatisfaction. 

Charities are well used to reporting the pay of their highest earners and the Good Business Charter believes all private businesses with over 50 workers and listed businesses with 51-250 workers should embrace this same level of transparency legally required of large listed companies.  See the High Pay Centre for more information on this and this Accounting Web article for ways to calculate it.  

For partnerships the CEO pay ratio would be calculated on the basis of the salary paid for taking the CEO role, not on drawings from the business. 

Improving diversity and inclusion

To make progress on diversity involves looking at an individual’s journey in the workplace,

considering especially:

  1. Attraction of talent
    1. Diverse imagery and language used in adverts
    2. External communication about the fact diversity is valued
    3. Accessibility of adverts
  2. Selection of talent
    1. Importance of a diverse range of people involved in the shortlisting and interview process
    2. Consider the possibility of blind recruitment
    3. Accessibility of overall recruitment process, taking into account specific needs of applicants
  3. Retention of talent
    1. Internal communication that diversity is important
    2. Employee groups for under-represented groups whose voices are heard
    3. Structured career progression plans for all
    4. Commitment to reduce pay gaps
  4. Inclusive culture
    1. Inclusive workplace through all lines of management with a priority to see managers fostering an inclusive workplace as part of their objectives
    2. A budget assigned to diversity and inclusion
  5. Data
    1. Importance of explaining why you are collecting any relevant data to try and get highest level of response
    2. Publishing and tracking this data
  6. Training and awareness
    1. Increasing understanding of inclusive language and behaviour amongst all employees through training
    2. Raising awareness of all our differences and different strands of diversity through campaigns and employee-led networks.

Smaller organisations

For companies with up to 50 employees we have developed a streamlined version of the accreditation in collaboration with Federation of Small Businesses.  Please find more information about this and the questions you will be asked here:

Self-certification for organisations with over 50 employees

We will ask questions about:

  1. Whether you assign time and money as is reasonably required to making your business an inclusive place to work and take steps to increase participation from underrepresented groups at all levels?
  2. Whether you collect voluntarily from your employees diversity gender, ethnicity and disability data, explaining clearly how it will be used, and analyse this data against a baseline and sector trends?
  3. Whether you have measures in place to encourage diversity at key stages of recruitment, selection and retention of employees as well as measures to prevent harassment or victimisation in the workplace?
  4. Whether you communicate both externally and internally your commitment to diversity and inclusion?  By external we mean typically on your website and/or printed material and by internal we mean a colleague/staff handbook and/or employment contract and/or rules of employment or similar.

For companies with over 50 employees we will also ask you about your reporting on gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps and diversity data with plans to close these gaps as well as narrow your CEO/worker pay gap where applicable.  If you are unable to analyse pay data we will ask you to analyse representation, hiring and leaving figures at least annually and report to board level on plans to address any issues that are revealed.


If you are concerned that you will not be able to answer these questions but believe that your organisational practices follow the spirit of this component, please consult with us so that we can make a judgement on whether we believe you meet the requirements of the component.  We are really keen to have organisations of all sizes and from all types of industries and sectors joining the Good Business Charter.  These are standard questions and for some organisations there may be questions that are just not relevant or too onerous.  We want to hear from you if you feel that is the case and we will take a sympathetic view. 

Good Business Charter

Take the first step now and sign up with us today. If you receive accreditation to the GBC, membership will be FREE for the first year.

Our 10 components

Find out more about the ideals that make up the cornerstone of the Good Business Charter.
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Diversity and inclusion


Calling all employees, customers and suppliers.

If you have reason to believe that a GBC accredited organisation is not meeting its obligations, please let us know.

Support on Disability

The disability charity, Scope, has some excellent resources to help employers create a more inclusive workplace culture and encourage disabled people to talk about disability at work.  Scope has developed a guide to help employers and a useful report called ‘Let’s Talk‘ which looks at disabled people’s experiences of discussing disability at work.