Updated: Jan 31
It will now take 136 years to achieve global gender parity at the current level of progress
The pandemic and the rising cost of living have wiped out past efforts adding 36 more years to reach global gender parity since pre-pandemic.
In 2020, companies were estimated to have spent a staggering $7.5Bn on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. This number is expected to double up in the next 4 years driven largely by investor movements prioritising ESG investing as well as the potential for higher innovation revenue and public pressure. The supporting numbers from WEF Global Parity Alliance document show that 83% of executive leaders are ready to pay a premium of 10% for ESG assets, ethnically diverse companies and gender diverse companies are 36% and 25% more likely, respectively, to financially outperform non-diverse companies and 39% of global job seekers have turned down job offers for lack of inclusion.
Yet, in the past 5 years only one in three companies showed progress in their executive team diversity and only two in five have seen their DEI initiatives reach maturity level.
Does this mean that companies aren’t getting it right?
There is no one-size-fits all strategy when it comes to DEI and diversity training alone hasn’t been proven effective. Alternatively, having a sound framework that allows for iterations and constant measurement of impact can speed up progress.
That said, companies often don’t know where to start.
The Global Parity Alliance DEI Lighthouse, 2023 report by the World Economic Forum & McKinsey provides a valid methodology that can be further adjusted to suit your company. According to them, a DEI initiative should be measured against the following criteria:
Significance Establish the magnitude of the impact
Quantifiability Use metrics to assess, track and drive accountability
Scalability Have a future impact potential within or beyond the organisation
Sustainability Have potential to drive long-term impact
The DEI Lighthouse Programme also identified 5 common success factors that yield the above characteristics:
1. Nuanced understanding of root causes
Understand the problem with a deep fact base – for e.g, you may begin with company-wide survey on employee experience and inclusion and pipeline analysis
Identify root causes with deeper data analysis and set clear measurable goals
Keep getting input through surveys, interviews, and focus groups throughout design and testing to ease implementation phases
You may uncover many areas of improvement, choose your battles wisely don’t try to fix them all at once.
2. Meaningful definition of success
Set clear and quantifiable aspirations
Articulate a clear case for change that motivates employees to act
3. Accountable and invested business leaders
Set initiative as a core business priority
Hold senior leaders accountable for outcomes, not just inputs or activities
Model and lead desired change, starting with CEO and senior leaders
Avail resources in budget, expertise, and time
4. Solution designed for context
Develop scalable solutions that solve the root cause
Integrate changes into key processes & systems
Equip and encourage employees to contribute
5. Rigorous tracking and course correction
Define KPIs and implement rigorous data-driven tracking process
Use data and feedback to course-correct as needed
There you have it!!
We know that's easier said than done that's why TEXpert AI has been accompanying companies through this process making all this effortless with integrated diversity data collection, insightful data analytics, and equitable solutions to address imbalances in workforce and portfolio. Reach out if you’re embarking on a data-driven DEI initiative, you don’t have to do it alone. If you're further along, take our short quiz to assess your DEI maturity level, get your personalised score and top tips from us.