2021 Predictions – HR and D&I in the Workplace

2020 is finally coming to an end. However, Perrine Farque predicts that 2021 has more in store for diversity and inclusion.

Ethnicity and gender pay gaps, working from home and more have been the priorities of the diversity and inclusion conversations this year, but what does 2021 have in store?

Workforce diversity reports transparency

Public authorities and industry associations will request that organisations share their workforce diversity reports and be more transparent with their diversity initiatives. Looking at Glassdoor recent diversity feature as well as Crunchbase recent diversity feature, the trend of sharing organisations diversity is becoming more and more prevalent across all industries.

Corporate discrimination fines 

Corporate fines and legal sanctions related to workforce discrimination, harassment and unfair treatment are set to increase in 2021. Organisations that fail to attract and retain a diverse workforce, including at the senior leadership level and at the board of director level, will be sanctioned for their lack of diversity. Recently, Oxford and Cambridge universities were threatened with fines for their lack of diversity and an increasing number of cases are reported. 

Mandatory unconscious bias training

Unconscious bias training will become mandatory for most organisations. Boycotts of brands that fail to embrace diversity and inclusion will become more common and more public. The Facebook platform was recently boycotted by advertisers including Verizon “Verizon pulled ads from Facebook over inaction on hate speech”.

The rise of the Chief Diversity Officer

The Chief Diversity officer will become the newest C-suite role. Following the Black Lives Matter movement, most industries have been searching for a Chief Diversity Officer to join their organisation. From the The fashion world to the Technology industry, most organisations will hire a Chief Diversity Officer as well as diversity personnel to drive more diversity and inclusion in their organization.

Investors driving diversity initiatives

Corporate investors will demand that companies they invest in have a diversity programme to increase diverse workforce representation. Investors in the technology industry have already started including #MeToo clauses in start-up deals. forcing entrepreneurs to disclose complaints about sexual harassment in the workplace, as more women speak out about sexism in the industry. The industry has had to respond to sexism in Technology.

Featuring diverse voices

Event planners, conference producers, content managers will have to feature new and diverse voices in their events, conferences, publications and panels. The event industry has been under the spotlight for its “manels”, or all male panels, as well as featuring agendas with a majority of senior white men taking centre stage. Similarly, publications across different industries have been criticised for featuring voices of a small portion of the population. In 2021, event planners and media outlets will have to diversify the variety of voices they feature in their agendas and in their publications, including women, people of colour, disabled people, LGBT+ and up and coming voices. 


Perrine Farque, Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Advocate
Perrine Farque is a professional keynote speaker and diversity expert who empowers leaders to leverage diversity as their competitive advantage. Nominated in the Top 50 Most Influential UK Tech Women, Perrine continues to be recognized for her contributions. Perrine drove the strategy at companies such as Facebook and is on a mission to make the workplace more inclusive and diverse.

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