Report takes holistic view of D & I issues

A broad-ranging report on diversity and inclusion finds gaps exist between what employers say about it and what they do and how they monitor issues such as socioeconomic background.



Employers need to take action on diversity and inclusion, based on solid data, but for many there is still a gap between what they say and what they do, particularly when it comes to socioeconomic background, according to a new report.

The McKenzie-Delis Packer Review brings together 10 facets of diversity, inclusion and belonging which encompass Ethnicity, Gender, Age, Nationality, Mental Health, Sexual Orientation, Socioeconomic Status, Disability, Religion and Parenthood.

The aim is to change how D & I is viewed and acted upon. The Review is based on in-depth polling of 79 major employers between June and October.

It found, for instance, that 71% reported progress on Leadership Team gender diversity only half specified gender diversity in Leadership Team success planning. For ethnic diversity and leadership, the number reporting progress was just 43% with around half specifying ethnic diversity in Leadership Team succession planning. Only 38% gathered and monitored data on sexual orientation at leadership level or shared case studies of senior LGBT role models internally.

Other areas of diversity saw similar general gaps in progress, for instance, although 91% have a process for ensuring employees with disabilities and long-term conditions have the adjustments they require at work, only 58% have communicated and engaged with the workforce on why disability inclusion is important to the organisation and 43% do not currently have senior leaders in each area of the organisation who ensure disability inclusion is factored into their business strategy.

When it comes to age, only 15% felt they have any issues with managing age diversity at work or with retention and promotion of older workers.

There was a broad recognition of the benefits of a diverse workforce in terms of religion and belief [87% recognised this] and the statistics on mental health were also high. Eight in ten participating organisations agreed that they have a strong mental health strategy/plan for all employees which includes tackling stigma and nearly nine in ten (87%) provide mental health training. Moreover, 92%  recognise the benefits of having parents in the workplace. However, while 74% enhance maternity pay, only six in 10 enhance statutory paternity pay.

The report also looks at class and found low levels of monitoring data on socioeconomic background. While 49% actively promote entry-level roles to young people from under-represented backgrounds, just 19% currently use contextual recruitment practices to support applicants from underperforming schools and less advantaged backgrounds. Moreover only 11% collect and monitor data on socioeconomic background.

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