‘It might require constant efforts from all leaders to ensure a globally diversified and inclusive workplace’.
In today’s times, the business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is stronger than ever. It is estimated that the global market for Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is around $9.3 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach a revised size of $15.4 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 12.6%. Taking a closer look at diversity winners reveals what can drive real progress.
Globally, around 92% of business leaders agree that a strategic workforce education program should help an organization achieve its diversity and inclusion goals. Companies should continue to hire more people from underrepresented groups, but we know that a single focus will not do much to solve any of the larger problems. It is important to understand that companies with gender, ethnic, and racial diversity practices are at least 15% more likely to experience above-average financial returns. We also have research that says that companies within the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to do the same.
Covid-19 has also exacerbated the already uneven work equity gaps. Women’s jobs globally are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs. Women make up 39% of global employment, but account for 54% of overall job losses. These statistics imply a significant relationship between competitive profit gains and diversity, so why is focusing on minorities not enough for a global company? Why are members of the global workforce frustrated with one-way initiatives that do nothing more than single out certain groups of people?
And most importantly: what can we learn from top companies successfully globalizing workplace best practices in diversity and inclusion?
Some of the leading global organizations are paving the way for the future of diversity and inclusion efforts globally. As per the study, diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets, diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions and diverse management teams lead to 19% higher revenue.
Between fostering innovation and learning to properly monitor— and model—their efforts, we have gleaned from these leading global companies some important lessons for organizations to successfully implement diversity and inclusion efforts that will have global relevance:
1) Recognize the Shift in Global Understanding of D&I: It is crucial to hire and maintain a diverse workforce, so gender and racial/ethnic initiatives will be launched and maintained into the foreseeable future. There is much to learn from leaders in diversity and inclusion, but it is important to remember that every company’s D&I initiative will look different.
2) The Multigenerational Workforce: The working population has never been as diverse as in present times. The generational makeup of the current workforce includes up to five different generations. This includes:
• The Silent Generation (born between 1928-45)
• The Baby Boomers (born between 1946-64)
• The generation X (born between 1965-1980)
• Millennials or Generation Y (born between 1981-96)
• The newest generation, Generation Z (born since 1997)
Each of these generations has unique expectations from their professional lives. They bring in different life experiences, voices and skill set to a company. It is important for employers, HR managers, and people in leadership positions to be aware of the attributes and abilities of each generation. Leaders should use different strategies that cater to, and celebrate employees of every generation.
3) Use Multiple Practices and Measures: Globally diversity and inclusion should not be treated as a “one-off” initiative. Instead of looking at turnover rates and other numbers, there is a need for measuring ROI based on different indicators and granular information, such as employee responses and consistent feedback about policies.
A growing global diversity and inclusion trend in 2022 will be for companies to set transparent targets, goals, and D&I initiatives. Doing so will increase the accountability of people in leadership positions, encourage honest conversations between employees and their bosses, and inspire them to share ideas and solutions.
As per Deloitte, 74% of millennial employees globally believe their organization is more innovative when it has a culture of inclusion, and 47% actively look for diversity and inclusion when sizing up potential employers. Leaders in diversity and inclusion should reward employees who are not afraid to voice an unpopular opinion or suggest something different than what’s expected.
Fortune says that today only 6.6% of all Fortune 500 companies have women as their CEOs. As per data shared by “Women in the Workplace,” only 23% of C-Suites are made up of women. Greater the representation, the higher the likelihood of outperformance. Companies with more than 30% women executives were more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10 to 30, these companies were more likely to outperform those with even fewer women executives or none.
A substantial differential likelihood of outperformance 48% separates the most from the least gender-diverse companies.
Learning to leverage global workplace diversity is far from simple, and learning to manage, maintain and measure your efforts will take time. Human potential is boundless—and it’s already inside our organizations. We just need to ensure that we have the breadth of strategic knowledge and implementation experience to help unleash it. Leaders in diversity and inclusion have taught us that it is an ongoing process, and it might require constant efforts from all leaders to ensure a globally diversified and inclusive workplace.
To conclude, diversity and inclusion is now much more than a “progressive idea” or concept. It has now become the need of the hour for organizations worldwide. The above-mentioned diversity and inclusion trends only point to the fact that the world is hungry for radical change. It is time that organizations realize this and mold their company culture in all the right ways.