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It’s evident there is financial gain to be had by encouraging diversity and inclusion in your workforce. The Wall Street Journal reports that the most diverse companies (12%) outperform the least diverse firms (8%) when it comes to share price and operating results.
However, creating a diverse business requires more than just good intentions - it takes strategic program implementation, accountability and setting realistic KPIs. Here’s how to properly measure diversity programs to create a more competitive and culturally-rich workplace.
First, define the type of return you hope to achieve.
It’s easy to implement a few programs as quick wins, but first it’s important to assess the current state of diversity and inclusion at your organization. Uncover the problem areas and apply data at all stages - surveys, focus groups, exit surveys, Glassdoor and LinkedIn reviews, analyst ratings and more. Then, define the type of return you hope to achieve. Common KPIs are:
- Reducing employee turnover
- Increasing employee satisfaction
- Increasing retention levels
- Growing leadership diversity
- Reducing unconscious bias
Focus on holistic program development and consistent accountability.
Data enables you to create accountability and establish a baseline through which success or opportunities for improvement can then be quantified. It also allows you to create links between programs developed and overall business performance. Remember that diversity isn’t just an HR initiative. As you’re developing programs, remember that it’s important to create a cross-functional task force that acts as a complementary partner in developing, implementing, sustaining and reporting on programs.
Return on Diversity (ROD) framework
Many corporate D&I programs simply fail to deliver tangible business results and stock performance. Many times, this is due to misalignment between KPIs and performance. Aneuvia’s proprietary Return on Diversity framework addresses these issues to deliver greater workplace diversity, investment performance for companies.
Our integrated approach provides actionable insights to C-suite and Board members on how to raise diversity across the board for better business outcomes. Using our proprietary ROD framework, we score companies on two variables: gender diversity and transparency. Based on this score, a targeted subset of companies are selected to comprise our high-conviction portfolio.
COVID-19 is not only a test to our global economy, health and wellness, but also our human spirit.
The pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities and exposing vulnerabilities in social, political and economic systems, particularly for women.
One example of unemployment data shows that 55 percent of people who have lost their job during this time are women.
Adding fuel to the fire: according to PayScale, the median salary for men is roughly 19 percent higher than the median salary for women in 2020. This is just a 7% percent improvement from 2019, when the median salary for men was roughly 26 percent higher than the median salary for women.
We have work to do - both men and women - to close this gap.
Women now effectively have to work four jobs: their day job, homeschooler, housekeeper and cook. Rarely are their effective corporate programs that help women - particularly working women - balance their responsibilities at home so they can continue to stay and thrive in the workforce.
Our team at Aneuvia commissioned a recent survey of 150+ corporate mothers with one or more children under 18 years old, and found an increase in primary caretaker responsibilities for corporate mothers (63%) and growing unavailability of third-party childcare (from 94% to 29%). When asked what employers can do to support corporate mothers, 44% respondents confirmed, greater flexibility with working hours - such as four-day work weeks.
Women need advocates now more than ever to feel supported, elevated and valued.
Harvard Business Review reveals that both men and women undervalue or fail to nurture a network of professional sponsors, yet women are 54 percent less likely than men to have a sponsor.
Without mentors, advocates and sponsors, women often decide to leave the workforce, experience burnout due to work-life imbalance and continue to suffer pay inequalities.
On the other hand, seventy percent of men and 68 percent of women who have a sponsor reported being satisfied with their career advancement. Women with sponsors are 27 percent more likely than their unsponsored female peers to ask for a raise and 22 percent more likely to ask for “stretch assignments” that go on to build their leadership reputation.
People invest in people who look like them.
Diversity is not a buzzword. By having a diverse workforce, we are more likely to learn about the concerns and preferences of various population segments, increase profit potential and create a more engaged workforce.
When we put women in leadership positions, we create a domino effect. They have power in an organization and can use their social influence, capital and credibility to advocate for other women, who are then elevated to positions of power.
Finally, putting women at the center of policy planning, workforce leadership development and financial program development will drive better and more sustainable development outcomes for all and support a more rapid recovery.