Let’s be clear, no piece of research has ever claimed that not having a diverse and inclusive workplace boosts productivity.

People’s differences are potential assets for any business and the economy.

In fact, study after study confirms the business case of ensuring the workplace environment includes everyone, regardless of their social background, gender, age, sexual preference, ethnicity or religion. It is incredible that we are still having discussions about why many organisations are not inclusive. There has been some progress in recent years around gender diversity and support for the LGBT community at work, but there is more to do to drive real change.

As we see in this report, people’s differences are potential assets for any business and the economy. Employers must proactively break down barriers and create workplaces that support everyone.

We need employers to have a gender-neutral mind-set and for more female role models to visit primary schools to remove stereotypes and encourage the youngest in our society to talk about diversity. We must eradicate the gender pay gap and boost flexible working to help people in their 40s and 50s who are caring for elderly relatives.

More must also be done to ensure people from lower social demographic backgrounds have the chance of great careers. This could be through more apprenticeships.

The ‘Industrial Strategy – UK  Sector Analysis’ report from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills considers where growth will come from as the economic outlook remains uncertain. It highlights sectors such as STEM, manufacturing, professional services, the information economy, energy and construction. These must do more to promote and cultivate a diverse workplace culture.

However, every employer should consider whether it is enjoying the  productivity and social benefits that diversity brings.