Companies must address the multiplicity of identities of diversity, equity and inclusion by redefining and understanding the needs of each individual, looking for patterns of difference, and devising solutions that address differences holistically, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
With more than 25,000 responses from 12 countries, the report, titled It’s time to Reimagine Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, notes that companies have a unique opportunity to reinvent the workplace, create new cultural norms and ways of working, as well as enter the post-COVID-19 world with greater resilience. The study determines that the standard framework of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in companies must be expanded to ensure that the greatest number of people contribute, collaborate and prosper in the workplace. This, in turn, enables companies to attract and retain the best talent to deliver differentiated business results.
The collected figures indicate that 75% of companies worldwide have diversity programs, but in all the countries in which the survey was conducted, between 25% and 75% of employees were not sure or not they believed their company had a formal DEI program. Between 15% and 75% of employees from diverse groups feel that they have not benefited from diversity programs, and 55% of employees report having suffered discrimination in the workplace.
Spain participated in the study with more than 11,000 responses, of which it was established that 3% of employees consider that their company is highly involved in DEI policies, while 32% comment that it is involved, 47% that it is average, 13% below average, and 4% not involved.
Reestablish who should be at the center of DEI policy efforts
Research shows that companies have influenced a specific set of diversity policies and actions (race, sex and sexual orientation), dedicating a great deal of effort to designing specific solutions for these, but that other factors that can be just as important in defining anyone’s work experience, such as certain demographic factors, life context, and physical or mental differences.
For this, BCG indicates that a map must be created that captures the interrelation of the variables that really matter to workers and that understand what emotional and functional needs must be satisfied to optimize and satisfy a certain number of individuals. For this it is necessary:
- Develop a holistic understanding of each employee, encompassing a broader set of possible identities and attitudes, noting when these elements are meaningfully interrelated.
- Understand the basic emotional and functional needs of employees.
- Apply data-driven statistical engines to find groups of demographic, contextual, and attitudinal factors that best predict different sets of needs in terms of selection.
- Using this model, companies can discover what really matters to employees, the factors that contribute to job satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and identify what makes a difference in business results. With this, organizations can come up with more innovative policies and benefits that are tailored to the true diversity of the workplace.
Reinvent the way of providing solutions to employees
“In order to articulate innovative solutions in the management of people in terms of IED, it is necessary to use a model based on needs and data that makes it possible to develop new programs and solutions that have a positive and lasting impact, while reinforcing the values and business strategy. Now more than ever, companies have an opportunity to redesign the space, the ways of working and the Human Resources strategy to include diversity, equity and inclusion as a key lever to maximize the impact of the organization’s talent. ” affirms María López, Managing Partner & Director of Boston Consulting Group and head of Women @ BCG in Spain.