Walsall Workplace Diversity - Making Walsall A Great Place to Live And Work

About the Project

Between Autumn 2020 and Summer 2021, employers and individuals across Walsall shared their views and perspectives into what Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) practices existed in workplaces throughout the borough.

The project was commissioned by Walsall for All and the Department for Work and Pensions and delivered by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce across a number of phases which included a research report, delivered in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton, and culminating in a virtual conference held in July 2021 and the identification of best practices to support D&I.

This is a legacy site for the project and will be available until at least April 2022, where visitors can view the research report, watch segments from speakers at the virtual conference and learn more about the best practice identified.

Walsall Workplace Diversity Perspectives and Insights Report

The study examines strategic human resource management activities and practices of surveyed business - including their positions on monitoring and planning and their approaches to recruitment, reward and retention towards generally underrepresented groups (women, ethnic minority communities, those aged 50+, individuals with disabilities and those individuals identifying as LGBT). The study was undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic and further provides a glimpse of how one of the most significant economic and health challenges for generations has impacted local business responses to Diversity and Inclusion.

By presenting an overview of employment practices of 64 surveyed businesses and the view of 59 employees from the Walsall Metropolitan Borough area, the report summarises approaches to employing and developing those from underrepresented groups and considered the lived experiences and perspectives of individuals from these groups.


Walsall Workplace Diversity Content - Speaker Presentations

Based upon the findings of the research report, content was developed to develop understanding, share best practice from a range of local businesses and enable participants to benefit from hearing about speakers' lived experiences.

Edited recordings of the speaker presentations are accessible below:

(Presentations will be uploaded shortly)

Walsall Workplace Diversity: Perspectives and Insights Study

Neil Anderson (He / Him) | Black Country Chamber of Commerce; Dr Wen Wang (She / Her) | University of Wolverhampton

Best Practice from a Small Business

Stephanie Hammond (She / Her) | Steps to Work

Establishing Your Business in the Community

Adam Davy (He / Him) | Walsall FC Community Programme

Supporting the Next Generation

Gareth Jones (He / Him) | In-Comm Training

Transgender Awareness

Robyn Foley (She / Her) | Birmingham LGBT

Perspectives: Race and the Business Charter

Kevin Davis (He / Him) | Vine Trust Group

Perspectives: Women, Race, Ageing and the Front Line

Rani Ghundu, QPM (She / Her) | West Midlands Police

Perspectives: Disability and the Workplace

Radost Dineva (She / Her) |Steps to Work

D&I Best Practice

The research and conference identified a range of best practices which businesses could consider adopting (which are explained in more detail in the research report), these include:

  1. Clearer Job Descriptions and Person Specifications - providing prospective applicants with a comprehensive of role duties and expectations whilst enabling the recruiting business to highlight their commitment to D&I
  2. Anonymised Recruitment - a practice which removes information such as names, dates of birth, ethnicity, gender and other personal details which could identify demographics and background from applications prior to their review by the recruiting manager or panel
  3. Diverse Interview Panels - striving for balance on interviewing panels to bring different perspectives into the selection process
  4. Reward & Retention Parity - ensuring that compensation, renumeration and development opportunities are competitive and fair across the same job bands
  5. Employee Voice - creating opportunities for likeminded employees or those from underrepresented groups to come together and advocate for positive change based upon their needs and experiences
  6. Personal Pronouns - adding descriptors such as they / them, she / her or he / him to email signatures or name badges creates affirming workplaces for non-binary and trans employees
  7. Leadership Pipeline - creating tracks or opportunities to develop a pipeline of diverse leadership talent
  8. Exit Interviews - enables departing individuals to share their experiences of a business and their reasons for leaving and providing the employer an opportunity to reflect on policy and practices
  9. Monitoring & Reporting - establishing effective monitoring systems to evaluate progress and develop interventions as necessary


Following the research project and the conference's speaker presentations, a range of links have been identified which might aid businesses to develop or enhance their D&I practices:

Business in the Community | Race Charter

Birmingham LGBT | Trans Resources

University of Wolverhampton | Different Voices Video

Walsall for All | A Range of Resources To Support Individuals and Businesses

Access to Work | Supporting For Businesses and Individuals

Steps to Work | Helping Local People Into Meaningful and Sustainable Employment

In-Comm Training | Apprenticeship Providers, Training and Business Services

Walsall FC Community Programme | Making A Difference Through Participation and Engagement

ACAS | A Guide to Inclusive Workplaces

CIPD | Preventing Discrimination and Promoting Inclusivity

Third party links are valid at time of publication (July 2021). The Black Country Chamber of Commerce or project partners are not responsible for third party content.