Why it’s Time for a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report
It goes without saying that 2020 was a year like no other. Despite business challenges, we saw an increase in both the number and quality of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) reports.
Many organizations are engaged in the hard work of increasing DEI, but like many topics in ESG and Social Impact, improving is a journey, and change takes time. In a recent survey conducted by Hone, many respondents expressed the need for companies to demonstrate their progress on DEI issues. Stakeholders know “what gets measured gets done,” so we see more staffing of senior roles and public reports from companies holding themselves accountable.
Here’s why it is time to consider creating a report.
Manage Risk and Connect Profitability with Corporate Responsibility
ESG funds, the SASB’s human capital dimensions, and even SEC requirements are all pushing DEI into the foreground for investors. And, studies show that diversity correlates with better financial performance. Even BlackRock is in on the act. The risk of ignoring diversity is growing.
Build and Protect Reputation: Growth of DEI Ratings in Addition to CSR and ESG
In addition to the investor-focused SASB, there are new raters and rankers every year. Just like the early days of Sustainability ratings, these rankings will proliferate before they consolidate. Glassdoor released a new rating in 2020, the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index was released in 2019, and numerous best-places-to-work surveys from publications like Fortune and Forbes use DEI as a factor.
Companies are making commitments, and setting goals, but are they keeping them? An annual report of the issues tracking progress is the gold standard and can help shape reputation.
Your People Care: Current and Potential Employees Seek Diversity
People care that there are others like them in your organization. The Glassdoor Diversity & Inclusion rating gives employees free rein to hold companies accountable. And there is more evidence than ever that job seekers want a diverse workplace (76% according to this survey). Employees report greater job satisfaction and commitment when organizations have strong DEI cultures. People are looking for more information about their employer’s DEI efforts, and a report is a definitive source that can be shared with recruiters, candidates, employees and leadership.
Soon, It May Not be Optional
California recently enacted a law requiring one diverse board member. NASDAQ is considering a similar rule. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)’s disclosure requirements may grow. Change may or may not come fast—but it will come.
How to Get Started
For several years, leaders have been adding DEI information to their annual and ESG/sustainability reports, and making it easier to find on their corporate websites. Those are great first steps. Work with your HR, Talent and Recruiting teams, and weave disclosure into existing reporting, until you have a story that can stand on its own.
Start with what you have, even if it’s primarily anecdotal. Begin tracking key data, and engage employees to help identify problems and create solutions. Soon, your company will be able to look at DEI more holistically and strategically. Or, you may be surprised to find you have rich content already, it just needs crafting into a cohesive story.
How Ideas On Purpose Can Help
For over 20 years IOP has been helping companies of all sizes with their purpose-driven communications, including corporate reporting and DEI storytelling. Our strategy, content, digital and creative teams are ready to help you define and tell your DEI, ESG, and Sustainability story and meet your reporting goals. Feel free to email us, we’re happy to discuss the possibilities.