Our partner Fuel50 conducted research on current talent mobility experiences, best-in-class talent mobility, and the imperatives for talent mobility in the future across high-performing organisations around the world.
Why does diversity matter?
Diversity, equity, inclusion as well as the evolving considerations around “belonging” are becoming increasingly top of mind for high performing organisations. Why is it so important, and why are more organisations prioritising diversity? The research found “DE&I Best in Class” organisations saw:
- Better representation of females at all levels
- More equity in remuneration (financial and non-financial)
- Increased rates of promotion
- Increased engagement across diverse backgrounds
Best in class organisations seemed to have similar strategic people priorities compared to other organisations, but were investing differentially in mentoring programs, stretch assignments and project enablement (gigs) particularly for their diverse populations.
|They prioritise (88%):||They invest in :|
|The future of work||Project Participation (gigs and stretch Assignments)|
|Employee Reskilling||Gigs and stretch assignment|
|Internal Mobility||Using Pathways|
Six traits of inclusive leaders
- Cognisance – because bias is a leaders’ Achilles heel
- Courage – because talking about imperfections involves personal risk-taking
- Commitment – because staying the course is hard
- Curiosity – because different ideas and experiences enable growth
- Cultural intelligence – because not everyone sees the world through the same cultural frame
- Collaboration – because a diverse-thinking team is greater than the sum of its parts
Leaders play an important role in enhancing levels of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organisations. Where leaders are more inclusive, the levels of diversity, equity, and inclusion are higher.
Reported levels of representation by organisations
Diversity covers so many different facets of individual difference – race, age, nationality, ethnicity such as BIPOC (black, indigenous, person of colour), cultural diversity, gender, sexual identification, physical ability and mental ability. For simplicity and to provide focus. The research focused on the current representation of gender and ethnicity in organizations.
HR leaders were asked to rate the levels of female and diverse background employees in their organisations today. They indicated whether there was room for improvement, whether current levels were satisfactory, or whether they believed they were above industry norms.
It was reassuring that, at the organisational level, 70% of respondents said the prevalence of both females and employees of diverse backgrounds in their organisation was satisfactory or above industry norms. At an individual contributor level, 75% of respondents said they had satisfactory or above industry norm representation of females. 65% said they had satisfactory or above industry norm representation of employees from diverse backgrounds.
The figures told a very different story when HR Leaders rated levels of representation higher up the organisation, specifically at management level, senior management and executive leadership level.
At management level, one in three organisations stated that they need to improve representation of females. At senior management and executive level this was considerably higher. Half of organisations admitted they need to improve female representation.
1 in 2 said they need to improve their representation of employees from diverse backgrounds at management level. 70% of respondents stated that their organisation needs to improve the representation of employees from diverse backgrounds at senior management and executive level.
What can organisations do to create a more inclusive culture?
80% of organisations confirmed that enhancing DE&I practices is a top strategic HR priority. However, while many organizations are starting to take steps in the right direction, it is evident that the impact of these efforts is not yet being realized across most organizations globally.
There is still a lot to be done to increase levels of representation of both females and employees from diverse backgrounds, particularly at management level and above.
Essential elements of an inclusive culture
- Valued and belonging – staff feel connected, valued, and belong in the culture; they present their authentic selves
- Respect and Equality – work outcomes, processes, and communications are considered fair; staff are treated with dignity and regard
- Safe and open – leaders are open to “bad news”; leaders are open to new ideas and innovative approaches’ asking questions is encouraged
- Empowered and growing – teams embrace change’; have influence over jobs; have stretch opportunities; learning is valued
“We were encouraged to find that 80% said enhancing and improving their DE&I practices is one of their organisation’s strategic goals and 70% of HR Leaders have recruitment goals for hiring a more diverse employee population.”
“Companies with leadership in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have financial returns above their industry median.”
“Companies with leadership in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry median.”
“There is a positive correlation between talent visibility and diversity, equity and inclusion. Organisations that prioritized and had higher diversity also prioritised internal recruitment.”