Diversity, equity, and inclusion have witnessed a slow yet steady rise to the top of enterprise priorities. And the addition of belonging was accelerated with the onset of Covid and increased acceptance of remote work.
One thing for sure is, DEI & B has transformed from being a mere regulatory mandate into a strategic move for businesses in the country.
But what does DEI & B mean to Indian organizations? A stipulated percentage of employees being women? A mandatory board member? A gender-specific leave policy? Is DEI & B a true force multiplier or just a box to be ticked?
Let’s dig deeper into it.
State of DEI & B in India Inc
The first ever pan India research on DEI & B in organizations, undertaken by Wequity and Feedback Insights, has uncovered many interesting facts. The research followed their proprietary DEI & B maturity model.
As per research, only 30% of the organizations had a well-defined and actively functioning DEI & B policy. In fact, there was a change in the attitude toward inclusion policies between mature and early-stage organizations. The former equated these policies to diversified company culture, inclusive talent force, sensitized leadership, and much more. While the latter only saw DEI & B as a branding tool for hiring purposes.
Understanding the Leadership Mindset
Here’s a curious case of 70% of respondents – they had DEI & B strategies in place but not enough resolve to implement and leverage those. Moreover, companies in the nascent and unaware stage had severe holdback in both leadership and employee attitude. Obviously, for most organizations, DEI & B is just a box to be ticked.
Gauging The ROI on DEI&B
Organizations with evolved DEI & B policies have successfully built a connected and invested workforce. Over the period, these policies have become drivers of business values, with medium and long-term benefits. Few of the tangible and intangible benefits seen by organizations with greater and better DEI & B practices include:
- 47% increase in revenue and profits
- 49% improved performance by teams
- 53% more sense of belongingness among employees
The Road Ahead
No organization can risk being outdated in its policies and practices. In the current market conditions, readiness to change garners optimum brand equity. DEI & B policies are meant to include employees as partners in progress. Everyone is enthused to give their best in an open and transparent environment. Mutual trust, respect for each other, the practice of equality beyond flashy posters, and a culture of true inclusiveness create a lasting sense of belongingness.
We can already see DEI & B policies becoming a core component of mature business strategy. Hopefully, more organizations will wake up to its need and benefits and do their bit to make the world more inclusive and equal. This is vital as diversity needs to evolve into gender agnostic as well as disability and cognitive inclusive.
As a responsible employer, it is time to include your employees in the dialogue and increase your DEI & B quotient.
So, are you up for it? Join us for Huddle 2022 to interact and learn from industry practitioners on the state of DEI & B in India inc.