The concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) make up a key pillar of any ESG framework. From shareholders and investors to employees and consumers, they consider the policies companies use to make their decisions with inclusivity in mind.
Beyond the obligations imposed by law, there is an increasing demand from professionals and consumers for organizations that demonstrate greater authenticity and commitment to the different groups that make up society.
But what are the pillars of DEI? Why should companies align their strategies with these values? And how can they go about it? Keep reading to find out more.
What do diversity, equity, and inclusion mean?
The term DEI is used to describe policies and programs that promote the representation and participation of different groups of people in the private and public spheres. These differences may be based on characteristics such as age, ethnicity, nationality, ability and disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.
What is diversity?
The representation of different social groups and people that belong to them.
What is equity?
Fair and equal treatment, access, opportunity, and commitment for all people.
What is inclusion?
Creating an environment that respects and values all perspectives, ensuring that people within historically underrepresented groups are included and considered.
Why are diversity, equity, and inclusion important for companies?
In addition to placing companies at the forefront in terms of human resource management, the reality is that a corporate policy focused on DEI brings other benefits as recent studies show.
Research has found that companies with culturally diverse teams are more profitable. Creating inclusive environments leads to more innovation, and diverse teams gain a broader understanding of their consumers’ needs. Let’s look at the data:
- According to a report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, companies with gender diversity are 15% more likely to outperform their peers. Ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to do the same.
- Research by the NGO Catalyst shows that companies with the highest female leadership statistically outperform their peers consistently.
- A study by the professional services network Deloitte shows that inclusive teams outperform competing companies by 80% in team-based assessments.
What are the benefits of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion?
As well as the advantages already mentioned, the benefits of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion policies include:
1. Increases employee retention
Employees working in an environment that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion feel more satisfied and at ease. This increases loyalty, making them more inclined to stay in their jobs for longer periods.
2. Boosts creativity and innovation
The diversity of ideas, experiences, and knowledge allows for the promotion of creativity and innovation within workgroups. Collaboration among diverse teams leads to the generation of new approaches and solutions.
3. Enhances productivity
Implementing DEI policies in companies increases productivity levels and employee engagement, as they feel more valued and respected. People who are free to be themselves are more likely to be productive.
4. Attracts new talent
An inclusive company that respects diversity is more likely to attract new talent compared to one that does not. However, it is crucial that DEI policies do not feel forced and are not implemented solely for financial gain.
5. Boosts the company’s global reputation
Inclusive companies that foster diversity are better received on a global scale, according to various studies. This relates to the ability to attract more and better talent while also enhancing the company’s profitability.
6. Improves overall company performance
As seen in the previous statistics, implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion policies increases the chances of outperforming competitors and achieving better business results.
How to develop a company culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion
DEI-based policies are critical to driving the future success of organizations. But to implement them, it is necessary to build a suitable strategy considering the following steps.
1. Analyze the situation
Understand how far or how close your company is to being diverse, equitable and inclusive to start with. Detect opportunities for improvement from there and reinforce what already works well.
2. Establish metrics
Generate key performance indicators (KPIs) for inclusion: wage gap analysis, benchmarking, and population modeling.
3. Engage the entire company
Involve all the teams that make up the workforce. From leadership to frontline workers, they must be committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion policies to achieve tangible results.
4. Train your teams
Rely on training programs to raise awareness of issues related to IEDs. Plan concrete actions and objectives to be achieved.
5. Communicate DEI policies in the company
Communicate these objectives and changes in the company culture, as well as the achievements obtained through salary gap reports, salary redistribution audits or an inclusivity index.
Examples of diversity, equity, and inclusion
There are various ways and strategies to successfully promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within a company. Here are some examples of actions you can implement:
- Implement a selection process that reflects diversity.
- Focus on inclusive and adaptive communication.
- Develop work-life balance measures for different profiles.
- Ensure equal growth opportunities for all employees.
- Create safe and trustworthy environments.
- Offer employee training on inclusion and diversity.
A clear example of success in the implementation of management models oriented towards DEI is that of BBVA bank. The company is considered a pioneer in its human resources policies and understands diversity as a business objective, as valuable as any other indicator. Through the establishment of the Diversity Days, they manage to reflect and value the results of the different projects implemented, the challenges, and upcoming objectives, regarding inclusion and diversity.
With the help of isEazy Factory, they have also been able to offer over 200 courses in areas such as sustainability for the development of their professionals.
Without a doubt, transforming the corporate culture in favor of DEI is quite a challenge. But fortunately, there are processes and solutions capable of shortening the path. isEazy ESG, for example, makes it possible to involve all the people who make up a company’s workforce, find out their degree of knowledge and motivation regarding inclusion and diversity, and generate training plans with concrete actions to obtain real results.