A suprising 45% of British business leaders say their organisation doesn’t have a clear DE&I strategy in place, a new survey of more than 6,600 senior executives finds. Despite this, nearly 9 in 10 (89%) respondents claim that their organisation does actually have the time and resource to proactively manage a DE&I strategy, indicating that the issue has taken a backseat. The report* also found:
- 62% of business leaders would not describe their organisation as “working hard to remove biases in their recruitment practices”.
- Two-thirds (66%) of those asked claim that their company does not offer gender pay gap reporting – despite this being a legal requirement for businesses with over 250 employees.
- Over half (58%) also do not have any programmes running across their organisation dedicated to furthering inclusive practices.
While this may suggest specific initiatives to promote DE&I could soon feel redundant, as attitudes and belief systems become more accepting, many would agree that we still have a long way to go before we get to that stage. Within a business environment, DE&I remains an important issue and initiatives such as gender and diversity pay gap reporting provide insightful metrics to help organisations drive further change. Positively, the number of businesses with a clear DE&I strategy in place has increased by 10% since Advanced’s 2022 report, suggesting that progress is being made, although this still hasn’t been uptaken as widely as is deemed necessary.
Simon Walsh, CEO of Advanced, comments, “One of the ways to ensure that DE&I is part of the overall company culture is to implement hiring practices that help combat unconscious bias.
“Building a diverse workforce enriches an organisation, replacing the ‘echo chamber’ of like-minded people with a multitude of new ideas, different experiences and fresh eyes on challenges that can drive improved creativity, innovation and productivity. Organisations that prioritise DE&I may find it enhances their reputation as an employer of choice, helping them to attract and retain talent.”
Technology is one way that this can help be achieved, and seems to be paving the way for DE&I initiatives to be managed effectively – 63% of respondents stated that they use technology to support diverse hiring and onboarding policies to avoid unconscious bias.
Software can be used by HR teams to report on diversity metrics, understand areas of improvement and assist with regulations including gender pay gap reporting. Nicole Merriman from the Advanced People Experience team explains the importance of such reporting, “For people teams, knowledge is power- you can’t be expected to make meaningful changes without understanding where gaps exist. This is the driving force behind collating data and one of the main reasons why we took the decision to broaden the scope to wider diversity pay gap reporting.”
*reseach conducted by Advanced