Making a difference through the Supply Chain
TfL works with a wide range of providers from those delivering large scale contracts to those providing speed awareness courses or there are services that are jointly funded with TfL, for example, TfL are joint funding training, this year, relating to fairness, inclusion and respect. They work with around 64 suppliers and many providers are front facing and effectively are seen as the face of TfL so provision needs to consider carefully, behaviours and reputational risk in commissioning.
There is a strong focus on EDI through the supply chain and TfL actively monitors EDI requirements through their supply chain bidding process. So, organisations seeking to work with TFL have to evidence their commitment to EDI against a set of requirements. For example, for larger contracts organisations need to provide an EDI Action Plan.
New Interventions or Initiatives
EDI is progressive and so TfL wants to see progression demonstrated in the bid. So, TfL looks for a nuanced approach – organisations who are looking to improve how they operate and improve their working practice over the duration of the contract. Tfl monitors and reviews progress against targets and takes a supportive approach to support employers and help them stay on track. TfL are working with around 64 key suppliers and this year are co-funding training, relating to fairness, inclusion and respect.
TfL encourages its suppliers to use the Inclusive Employers Toolkit. TFL are also encouraging ethnicity pay gap reporting and gender pay gap reporting where it is not a mandatory requirement already.
In terms of understanding where suppliers are TfL has not required their supply chain to provide a diversity profile historically but this is something that may change as more diversity data becomes available and reported on by organisations, thus providing greater insight.
Contracts are monitored in terms of delivering the commitments made in relation to EDI but there are no recommended targets or set outcomes for measuring impact or evidencing progress of EDI initiatives, diverse representation and greater inclusion.
While monitoring is in place, the EDI deliverables within those contracts are not part of a formal reporting mechanism that feeds into corporate/SLT level EDI, so potentially, there is scope to build reporting mechanisms into the deliverables.
In terms of improving EDI in the supply chain, organisations should be looking beyond EDI statements or company charters and expect suppliers to show how they are delivering inclusion and diversity tangibly. So if an organisation references the Toolkit or other inclusive initiatives, e.g. the Mayors Good Work Standard and they also seek to show how they want to improve during the contract, that is a good indicator that they are taking EDI seriously.
Bringing an element of competition into achieving EDI could also be helpful as business often responds well to a competitive challenge. Recommendations at the Mayoral level also have greater impact as Mayoral initiatives influence organisations in a positive way.
To realise significant EDI change, organisations need to consider their culture and how they can create a culture where inclusion and diversity is embraced, looking at the steps that need to be taken to achieve this.
TfL has targets for gender and BAME representation in relation to the apprenticeships scheme with targets of 20%.
They have been successful in recruiting diverse groups onto the apprenticeship scheme although gender has been more challenging at this level.
In terms of actively supporting young people, particularly, from underrepresented groups TfL is committed to improving and providing support for young people at school level, college, FE and university level. They run pre-employment programmes and work with over 200 referral partners to support delivering better outcomes for underrepresented groups.