Diversity & inclusion - measuring the impact

How do ESG principles support a more
diverse and inclusive workplace? How far does measurement take us? Can measurement improve accountable
outcomes?

In 2022, organisations continue to reckon with diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, and more senior leaders are making a step change in the level of focus their organisations place on making progress. This is happening in a fast-changing work environment and is much needed to ensure organisations fulfil their role both as employers and in society.

One of the most challenging aspects of any strategy, however, is measurement, so we asked some of our external partners to share their thoughts on this question. We have grouped these thoughts into three themes: measurement driving action, continuous progress and accountable outcomes.

Driving action

Each year, we engage with an external network and report on our progress across diversity and inclusion and wider ESG issues through the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Over 15,000 companies around the world are involved in the UNGC.

“Our objective is diversity, equity, and inclusion [DEI] in the workplace and wider society,” says Steve Kenzie, Executive Director at UNGC UK. “Measurement is just a means to that end, which has little value unless it catalyses meaningful action. There needs to be more urgency in addressing DEI issues. Too often we see poor DEI data accepted with passive resignation. Action is needed. It’s not enough to wait for a few people to retire or for more diverse candidates to apply. This is a critical business issue and a human rights issue.”

The Purpose Coalition, a group of business and education leaders working together to have greater impact on society, is led by Rt Hon Justine Greening. Shoosmiths was one of the first businesses to join The Purpose Coalition, following a successful partnership in creating the firm’s Social Mobility Action Plan.

“We know that in successful organisations what gets measured, gets done,” says Justine Greening. “That’s absolutely true for social mobility and organisations that are committed to delivering on their purpose. For the first time, organisations are making real moves towards tracking their socio-economic diversity and measuring progress. We know that employers can be engines for social mobility – and it’s time to start tracking progress.”

It’s not enough to wait for a few people to retire or for more diverse candidates to
apply.

What becomes important is comparing rates of change. Is the firm under- or over-performing the market trend?

Disclaimer

This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.

 


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