- A roadmap can help companies reach diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals, according to Diversity Best Practices, a division of Working Mother Media. The 2020 Inclusion Index, released Aug. 18, examined which organizations are using DEI best practices to create inclusive workplaces.
- The index of 98 organizations was led by 20 that comprised the top 10% in scoring, earning an 81% or higher. Companies grouped in the top 10%, such as Johnson & Johnson, Accenture and New York Life, represented industries including healthcare, finance and professional services. IBM and Boston Scientific were the only tech companies in the top 10%. Diversity Best Practices measured protocols in the recruitment, retention and advancement of individuals from underrepresented groups; leadership accountability and inclusive corporate culture; and demographic diversity for women and other members of underrepresented groups. Eighty percent of the companies in the top 10% said they monitor the race/ethnicity and gender of mentoring participants; and 85% incorporate diversity into succession-planning processes, according to the report. Nearly all of the top companies set diversity percentage goals and 65% tie compensation to DE&I goals.
- Still, there are some areas for improvement, the report found. All of the companies in the top 10% of the index require diverse candidates in interview slates. But 75% require the panel of interviewers to be diverse. "Hiring is significantly impacted by the diversity of the candidates as well as those conducting interviews," according to the report. And a focus on DE&I in top leadership is needed. For example, Latinx women are only 1.5% of corporate executives at companies in the top 10%, according to the report.
The D&I leadership position that drives internal changes has evolved since its inception and continues to develop, according to practitioners.
Hiring of D&I professionals has accelerated in the last 10 years, Haven Cockerham, CEO and founder of Cockerham and Associates, told HR Dive in a previous interview. "Diversity work grew out of affirmative action, [equal employment opportunity laws] and HR," Cockerham said. A report released June 23 by ZoomInfo, a business-to-business database, found that the number of executives with D&I titles more than doubled over the past five years.
"Diversity, equity and inclusion continues to be a topic of critical importance, especially in these times of heightened racism and social injustice," Deborah Munster, the vice president of Diversity Best Practices said in a statement. "The good news is that corporate America is paying closer attention to its D&I practices." The number of participants in the 2020 index increased by 24% this year, with 185 companies sharing their data and 98 organizations scoring 60% and above, according to Diversity Best Practices.
Employee resource groups are used by most organizations in the index to recruit diverse talent, the report found. The 10 business resource groups at ADP, a company listed in the top 10% of the index, create a support system that helps shape a culture of inclusion, even in times of crisis, Aisha Thomas-Petit, chief diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility officer at ADP, told HR Dive in a previous interview.
"During this time of uncertainty, the role business resource groups serve in a company's culture has really been underscored," Thomas-Petit said. "They provide the workforce with professional and personal support and help bring people together around shared causes."
Diversity Best Practices noted that a continual hurdle for even high-performing companies is creating diversity in top leadership. For example, many Asian, Black and Hispanic women are considering leaving their corporate jobs to start their own businesses due to bias and lack of advancement into senior leadership positions. "Because there are fewer multicultural women in mid- and senior-level management, they will be less likely to show up as high potentials," Subha V. Barry, president of Working Mother Media, told HR Dive in a recent Q&A. "Look down a few levels to identify emerging high potential multicultural women for additional skills development/mentoring."