We see diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in almost every modern workplace setting. DEI creates a good environment where teammates from diverse backgrounds work together well. Thus, the organization gains from having diverse perspectives.
The results speak for themselves. Gartner projected that 75% of companies with diverse and inclusive decision-makers exceeded their financial targets.
Much of DEI’s positive driving force lies in the power of empathy and awareness. And to find out those two qualities, we look at a larger goal called ESG. ESG includes the environment, society, and governance.
A company creates its ESG by following goals, such as the UN’s SDG (Sustainable Development Goals). Now’s a strategic time for organizations to revisit their ESG goals and policies. Things are about to speed up with milestone SDG events in the upcoming year.
But first, let’s take a closer look at the ESG and how it all ties up with the SDG.
What About the ESG?
ESG is a matter of ethics. And ethics impact how trustworthy a company is and how it relates to its stakeholders. You can imagine the negative effects of a lack of trust. So, an organization’s ESG sets the tone for its public and professional reputation. As such, a strong ESG strategy defines success in many ways. There are many ways you can benefit from ESGs. Some examples of these in action include:
- Attracting quality talent with ideal qualities that match the organization’s mission.
- Winning the trust and support of eco-conscious customers. (77% of people prefer to buy from a company committed to making the world a better place)
- Securing sponsorships and partnerships with sustainable brands. This shows support as well as community.
- Reducing the risk of ethical violations, penalties, and bad press that tarnishes the company name.
ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. The social part deals with how companies interact with people and communities. It is vital in guiding the whole effort. In the end, ESG success depends on the people who support the environment and good governance. That’s where DEI comes into play, bringing out the best in a company’s social responsibility.
Similarly, a company’s DEI helps hire and keep talented people. It does this by being inclusive in its practices. So, creating a friendly work environment is easy. It is as simple as hiring people in a fair and consistent way.
Furthermore, improving how companies hire people not only makes the company look good. It also helps them make friends with other businesses. Thus, they show they are fair and friendly. In effect, this opens doors to more partnerships.
Additionally, companies prioritizing DEI efforts in their hiring and workforce management maximize employee engagement. By doing so, they provide team members with equal opportunities to succeed in the workplace.
So, keeping DEIs in check helps companies move forward in their social responsibilities. Plus, it drives ESG by preserving individual rights and ethical treatment.
The UN’s SDG continues to guide global goals since its creation in 2012. There are a total of 17 SDGs. They function to end poverty, ensure prosperity, and protect the planet. But today, we hone in on the SDGs where a company’s DEI initiatives can ensure continuous success.
SDG #3 stamps out physical illnesses such as malaria and tuberculosis. But, it also addresses the importance of mental health. The pandemic brought on years of anxiety and depression that affected the psyche of the general workforce. For the most part, this was due to the burst of employment uncertainties and health coverage concerns. These are things that affect the quality of life.
In other words, companies must provide their workforce with the support they need to cope with rising healthcare costs. For example, organizations should maintain pay equity in their DEI policies. And they should offer a wide selection of well-being programs catered to individual employee needs. We all need good healthcare.
A Gartner survey showed that only 32% of employees felt supported in the workplace. As a result, increasing the number of self-care tools and peer support helps companies bridge the gap. Essentially, this gives team members physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In effect, they perform better at work. And employers can also attract a diverse talent pool by including health and well-being offerings in job listings.
Gender equality remains a prevalent issue in the workplace and beyond. Numbers from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reveal an 11.9% gender wage gap. Based on these figures, a female workforce member makes an average of 0.88 cents for each dollar earned by a male counterpart. Even when they do the same work. And sometimes even when they do more work.
So how can companies make their workplace more inclusive? By hiring diverse leaders and improving how they hire people. This helps everyone feel welcomed and valued at work. Specifically, decision-makers should ensure that talent gets hired based on merit. They should also ensure that talent gets rewarded based on merit too. Background information such as gender should not matter.
Employers should also practice an open-door policy. This is where employees receive support in reporting cases of bias. An open-door policy allows employees to share their thoughts and work comfortably. This boosts productivity at work. And in effect, the company thrives.
One effective example of open-door policies done right comes from IBM. At IBM, employees can talk to their bosses about work problems to find solutions quickly. Thus, employees can reach out to leaders via communication options including text messages, emails, or calls.
Inequality at work and in society goes beyond gender differences. There are many ways that people can get excluded. The UN’s SDG 10 aims to prevent exclusion. Around one in five people faces discrimination based on factors like disability, age, and ethnicity, as per UN research.
SDG #10 aims to provide equality for every person by meeting ten targets. By 2030, the goal is to include everyone. That means ensuring that no one feels left out or alone. And that’s regardless of age, gender, disability, race, religion, or economic status. What does this mean? This means empowering and promoting social, economic, and political inclusion for all. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard.
Having a job affects our quality of life. There is no doubt about that. So, companies must use DEI practices to give everyone a fair chance to do well at work.
Companies can use SDG #16 for their governance. It includes rules, practices, and processes that keep a company running smoothly. And what does good governance look like? Good governance means following rules and protecting privacy. Good governance also means being accountable for all actions. So don’t play the blame game. Be accountable.
SDG #16 helps leaders improve company productivity and performance. It does this by keeping employees safe. When employees feel safe, they do better work. These targets include:
- 16.6 Develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels.
- 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making at all levels.
In this way, leaders can promote diversity and transparency. Fair treatment for all employees, regardless of their position, is crucial. Everyone has a part to play.
The Future of SDGs and What to Expect
The SDG Investment Fair
The SDG Investment Fair happens on November 28-29, 2023. It will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York. It is a crucial event focused on good health and well-being.
And what does this mean? This event is more than just a gathering. It’s a dynamic platform where businesses, governments, and organizations come together. And they’re not just talking. They’re making things happen! Things that will impact us all.
By forming partnerships and sealing deals, this fair aims to boost our global efforts for better health and well-being. The focus? Bringing in investments that will improve healthcare systems and enhance the well-being of people worldwide. It’s not just an event. It’s a crucial step toward a healthier, more sustainable future for all. So, mark your calendar because impactful change is on the way.
In addition, the UN has taken big steps toward its long-term plans for using SDGs to make the world a better place. Notably, two crucial summits stand out to help achieve the outlined targets.
These events give helpful strategies to leaders who want to enhance their DEI and ESG policies. So these are events to keep in mind if that’s your goal.
On September 18-19, 2023, leaders and policymakers met at the UN headquarters in New York. They talked about the progress of the 17 SDGs and figured out solutions for new challenges.
Then, in 2024, leaders from around the world will meet at the Summit of the Future on September 22-23. This time, they will build on the ideas from the SDG Summit in 2023. This will be done by working together with many countries and organizations from around the world. People are calling this event a rare chance to make our world better for both today and tomorrow!
The Summit of the Future is still some way to go. Still, leaders can be proactive and optimize their DEI and ESG policies to adapt to changes.
Suggested organizational steps in preparing for the upcoming SDG updates include:
- Streamlining recruitment and hiring practices by removing biases and exclusionary content. For example, using the Ongig platform helps your team engage passive candidates. You can do this by using optimized job titles and SEO practices. But that’s not all. It also helps you keep up with the latest job seeker needs. Additionally, it eliminates jargon.
- Diversifying company board structures by appointing people based on their skills. We can also improve board meetings and make progress reports consistent.
- Strengthening workplace safety by discussing challenges and considering other perspectives. Understanding others at work goes beyond just feeling for them. Perspective-taking means trying to see things from their point of view. It means considering what they like and dislike, as well as how they feel and think about things.
I wrote this because DEI is a huge part of what we do at Ongig. We want to help you make your workplace inclusive. We can help you attract and retain top talent. How do we do this? Our Text Analyzer software cuts biases in your job descriptions so that you can attract talented hires. It uses an advanced algorithm. Ongig helps companies hire fairly as well as optimize their social ESG practices. And don’t worry about size. It works for all company sizes big and small.
- Manasi Sakpal, Gartner – Diversity and Inclusion Build High-Performance Teams
- Teresa Zuech. Gartner – 5 Key Trends That Make Well-Being Programs Effective
- OECD – Gender equality and work
- IBM – Business Conduct Guidelines
- United Nations Common Agenda – The Summit of The Future in 2024
- Joscelyn Duffy, Psychology Today – The Power of Perspective Taking