Despite almost all (99%) FTSE100 companies having an inclusive mission statement, nearly half (48%) have only one or fewer positive DE&I initiatives.
Also, only 4 percent of companies offer a substantial neurodiversity initiative, according to an audit by Agility in Mind.
This news comes as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has just announced requirements for listed companies to report against targets for female and ethnic minority representation on boards and in executive management.
The audit exposes that the FTSE100 companies which are performing worst in terms of DE&I are also the ones with the lowest Glassdoor scores – of the 16 companies with a score of 3.5 or less, 13 offer no DE&I initiatives.
The results also suggest that one in three (30%) business leaders believe a lack of knowledge regarding diversity initiatives’ importance holds them back from having the desired impact. Over a quarter (26%) believe a lack of awareness regarding how companywide change can be implemented is the key reason behind the mixed success.
Companies with the most DE&I initiatives include ITV, Admiral, Sainsbury’s, Autotrader Group, Centrica, BT Group, Coca Cola, Burberry, Aviva and Angle American.
How can organisational change be achieved?
- Remember your organisation is unique, so merely copying others will not necessarily achieve the organisation you want to be.
- Begin with inclusivity in mind, bringing a diverse set of views into a multidisciplinary team managing change.
- Set out the characteristics of the organisation you want and share a clear vision for the future.
- Work incrementally, taking small steps that achieve real change, aligned always with the vision you have.
- Iterate, ensuring you learn at each step, and share the lessons across the organisation.
- Make change visible to all so everyone knows the progress you’re making.
Business leaders appear to have an appetite for further change, with a third of those (33%) surveyed saying that more training for managers would help to improve the effectiveness of DE&I policies. This rises to nearly two in five (38%) in larger organisations of over 500 employees.
What are the challenges to achieving this change?
“Building a truly diverse and inclusive culture is laden with challenges, but our audit reveals that many well-intentioned leaders have pledges and goals to reach it,” says Business Services Director at Agility in Mind, Michelle Meakin.
“What we are seeing is that most are struggling to enact the type of top-down organisational change that is required to be successful – and that the pace of real action even amongst public-facing companies is very slow. That’s why Agility in Mind is providing a framework for this transition so that business leaders can implement positive and meaningful changes with genuine impact,” adds Ms Meakin.
“As businesses around the UK largely move from survival mode to growth strategies, leaders must take the time to design an inclusivity infrastructure that can boost retention by keeping staff happy and aligned with organisational growth. Key to this is creating a positive culture which improves productivity and performance as it scales,” says Agility in Mind Consultant, Toby Mildon.