Inclusion training organisation Inclusion 247’s “Accelerating Inclusion” report found that while firms are taking inclusion more seriously, further action is needed to drive policy change and mindset transformation, including leadership accountability and better sharing of diversity data.
Leadership – sentiments over action
The report involving data from over 500 organisations found that while 62% said they have a senior leader that promotes diversity and inclusion, around 60% also said diversity and inclusion isn’t a key performance metric for each leadership team member. Furthermore, only 17% said they have diversity and inclusion “milestones” in which each board member is held accountable.
While many firms did say diversity, inclusion, and belonging are part of their leadership plan, 52% of organisations surveyed “do not provide leadership development programmes that are inclusive and enable the advancement of underrepresented groups.”
Lack of data sharing and measurement
The statistics also show that many firms aren’t using diversity data to their fullest advantage. Of the 518 organisations surveyed, 60% have not shared their gender, disability, and ethnicity pay data and action plan with their entire workforce beyond publishing on their website.
A further 53% do not have a “People Data Dashboard” to measure progress, and 45% haven’t provided training to staff involved in recruitment to prevent bias when hiring.
Lack of action plans and inclusion programmes
More than half (53%) of organisations involved in the study have not produced an action plan that sets out the steps they intend to take to close the gender, disability, and ethnicity pay gaps, and only 24% use diversity and inclusion metrics to engage with stakeholders and customers.
Furthermore, only 16% of organisations reported that they had a development programme in place to help staff understand how to be an ambassador, allies, or advocate for others.
However, the findings did reveal some positive points, too, namely that a majority of respondents had open workplace cultures where employees can ask questions directly to senior management (73%) while 69% of firms “recognise and celebrate employees’ contributions.”
Out of the 518 respondents, 74% have a zero tolerance towards discriminatory behaviour, but this still leaves around one in four organisations who either do not have this or do not know.
The above findings suggest that many firms may have good intentions on workplace diversity and inclusion, but little is being done to measure and cultivate change. This is reflected in the lack of mentoring opportunities in these firms. Sixty-three per cent of organisations surveyed do not provide them, including reverse and diversity mentoring. ) In addition, 56% of firms “do not proactively seek out opportunities to continuously share diversity and inclusion best practice with other companies of differing sizes.”
Founder of Inclusion 247 Teresa Boughey MA FCIPD said: “We know there is a growing recognition of the importance of workplace belonging and equality, but employees are tired of empty rhetoric. From our research, there are some encouraging signs of increased awareness. Still, there remains much progress to be made in actually putting the policies into practice, embedding them into the organisation, and reflecting on how they can make a wider difference in their supply chain and community.
“We hope that the recommendations contained within the Accelerating Inclusion Research report and the insights from the review committee will contribute to real, practical change at the heart of organisations across the country as they build back better and stronger.”
To read the findings of the report in full, click here.
In this article, you learned that:
- While 62% of firms said they have a senior leader that promotes diversity and inclusion only 17% have diversity and inclusion “milestones” in which each board member is held accountable.
- Over half of respondents surveyed don’t provide leadership development programmes that are inclusive and enable the advancement of underrepresented groups.
- A significant 60% of firms involved in the study have not properly shared their gender, disability, ethnicity pay data and action plan with their entire workforce.