Diversity and Productivity from Education to Work is an innovative collaboration carrying out research to better understand the relationship between diversity, inclusion and productivity in the UK, and provide new insight into the barriers to under-represented groups reaching their full productive potential.
The project has been awarded £2 million by the Economic and Social Research Council and is led by The Inclusion Initiative at the LSE, in collaboration with researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, University of Sheffield, University College London and University of Warwick.
Dr Grace Lordan, director of The Inclusion Initiative, leads this innovative collaboration to advance the understanding of the barriers to creating diverse workforces, and provide new evidence on the impact of diversity on business performance, and how firms can maximise the benefits of diverse teams. It will also explore the crucial role of the education system as the start of the ‘leaky pipeline’ in which individuals from under-represented groups lose access to career opportunities, creating a substantial ‘lost potential’ of highly qualified individuals.
A multidisciplinary team will tackle the project’s questions using cutting edge qualitative and quantitative methods from several disciplinary perspectives. The team will work with businesses to design, test and implement the recommendations from its research, directly affecting practice and hence workplace diversity. This will allow for an immediate impact on improving the opportunities of under-represented groups, in addition to increasing diversity in a way that maximises the benefits to firms.
The Diversity and Productivity project is further advised by the Academic Advisory Board, comprised of leading academics in diversity and productivity and by the Impact Advisory Board, drawn from policymakers and industry leaders, drawn from policymakers and industry leaders.
“We will work with businesses, policy makers and other stakeholders to ensure that this collaboration leaves a legacy of practical solutions.”
Dr Grace Lordan
The Diversity and Productivity project's research agenda is designed to help the UK move closer to reaping the full benefits of the productive potential of its workforce, by leveraging diversity and inclusion.
Our overall objectives are to:
Increase productivity in the UK by enabling firms to create more diverse workforces and provide new insights into how best to maximise the productive potential of diverse teams
Increase education and career opportunities for individuals from under-represented backgrounds, by providing insight into the ways education policy and practice can widen access to productive education pathways, and by broadening the talent pool that firms can attract, appoint, and promote
Work with policymakers, practitioners and businesses to ensure that the project’s findings address their key questions and concerns, and translate into tangible improvements in practice
Produce high quality research, published in top academic journals, that adds clear value to the academic community, in addition to public and business policymakers, e.g., on the ‘business case for diversity’, and ensure the data, code and learning from our work is freely available to support future research
Build the capacity of early career researchers to ensure they have the passion, methodological expertise and engagement and impact skills necessary to forge research careers focused in this area.