GENEVA, 21 April 2022: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Korn Ferry have launched a new report Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace exploring some of the key components of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) maturity as well as practical examples of challenges and solutions gathered from WBCSD member companies.
DE&I topics have generated increased attention all over the world in recent years, accelerated by a growing social justice movement. In the face of mounting stakeholder expectation, and as the business case for DE&I becomes increasingly undeniable, many global organizations are now moving swiftly to advance efforts in this field.
As companies seek a transformation-based approach to accelerate their DE&I journey, it is critical they understand where they are in terms of their DE&I maturity, where they want to be and how they are going to get there.
In this report, WBCSD and Korn Ferry explore some of the key dimensions of DE&I maturity and highlight practical examples of emerging solutions to key challenges. Leveraging Korn Ferry’s DE&I Maturity Model and interviews with a range of WBCSD member companies, the report identifies emerging leading practice across a range of dimensions including both structural and behavioral components. It also puts forward a number of critical enablers of success that make a significant difference in integrating DE&I into every aspect of an organization’s business and talent practices.
James Gomme, Director of Equity Action at WBCSD said: “Robust corporate programs that strive to achieve DE&I sit at the heart of efforts to tackle the systemic risk posed by mounting levels of inequality of income, wealth and opportunity globally. By striving for leading practice in this field companies from all sectors can make a critical contribution towards realizing the vision of a world in which all people can live well and where equal opportunities are available for all.”
Alina Polonskaia, Global Leader of Korn Ferry’s DE&I Consulting Practice, said: “Companies that embrace DE&I are more likely to capture new markets, and see ideas become productized. Meanwhile diverse teams, managed inclusively, have also been found to be better at solving complex challenges. However, it is only when DE&I is sewn into the fabric of the business that it becomes a true source of competitive advantage.”
The report also identifies three critical enablers of successful DE&I integration in the form of:
- Data-driven DE&I efforts. Successful organizations approach DE&I with scientific and analytical rigor. The decisions taken by business leaders must be informed by data, analytics, and verifiable research to achieve measurable long-term progress in addressing DE&I challenges and opportunities.
- Transformational Approach. As companies continue on their DE&I journey, success will ultimately depend on embedding DE&I into all their talent and business practices and the full ownership of their DE&I efforts by the CEO, senior leadership team and middle managers. It is only through integrating DE&I into every action and decision, organizations will achieve leading edge DE&I maturity.
- Shared responsibility. DE&I transformations must be driven in the spirit of a shared responsibility between leaders, employees, and HR. Employees should drive their development and performance, while the organization should remove systemic barriers, ensure bias-free decision-making and purposefully build equity across the employee experience. Inclusive leaders need to support DE&I as the “way of doing business” while also modeling inclusive leadership behaviors themselves.
Advancing corporate performance on DE&I is also emerging as a critical focus area of WBCSD’s Business Commission to Tackle Inequality (BCTI) - a cross-sector, multi-stakeholder coalition of organizations and their leaders, with the mission of mobilizing the private sector to tackle inequality and generate shared prosperity for all.
As part of its efforts, the BCTI has launched a dedicated DE&I workstream which is working with leading companies, NGOs, academics and intergovernmental bodies to advance understanding and uptake of DE&I best practice. Insights from this working group will inform the publication of a flagship BCTI report in early 2023.
Through these and other emerging initiatives, WBCSD looks forward to continuing to explore opportunities to support the global business community on its DE&I journey and welcomes the opportunity for continued stakeholder engagement around this critical topic.
For more information, please contact:
WBCSD: James Gomme, Director Equity Action, WBCSD, firstname.lastname@example.org
Korn Ferry: Tracy Kurschner, Public Relations Manager, Korn Ferry, email@example.com