We at Symmetra have always urged our clients to accept the proposition that diversity, equity and inclusion are strategic imperatives. It can no longer be just a useful PR marketing tool or a sometimes beneficial add-on to corporate social responsibility. All our successful global clients have unreservedly taken this principle on board.
However, as we move well into the 21st century it remains unfortunately true that many organisations do not perceive that DEI must be woven into the long-term strategic objectives of the business. This observation is confirmed by a survey of more than 2000 HR professionals just conducted in the UK by EMEA which found that 31% of businesses did not have a strategic approach to DEI.
A dismal 25% said their business regarded it as a strategic priority; 46% said D&I is celebrated and 38% said their organisation would be increasing investment in it.
The reality is embedding an inclusive culture is a marathon, not a sprint; for D&I to become integral to the culture, it must be adopted by leadership as an overarching guiding principle which informs decision-making on every aspect from hiring, promotion, marketing, sourcing of supplies through to product innovation, problem solving and branding. Accountability to advance this agenda needs to be placed firmly as a KPI on the balanced scorecard of all leaders.