Despite the vast majority of organisations worldwide who state that improving diversity and inclusion (D&I) is important, just under half have a strategy in place to achieve gender equality.
According to Mercer’s “When Women Thrive 2020 Global Report”, 81 per cent of businesses believe improving D&I is essential however, 42 per cent have no plans to do so in place.
Only 40 per cent of the global workforce is female, which is a slight increase from 38 per cent, four years ago.
However, there are some positives to come out of the report, rates for hiring and promoting women are now comparable to rates for men.
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of organisations have senior executives actively engaged in D&I initiatives and programs, which is a rise from 57 per cent from 2016. More than half (57 per cent) of those at board level are also involved in D&I initiatives.
Still, 50 per cent of businesses around the world do not have teams exclusively dedicated to D&I.
Martine Ferland, president and chief executive officer of Mercer said:
Gender equality has evolved into a global imperative, and organisations are taking actions to make a difference. However, as women continue to face challenges of unequal senior level representation and limited opportunities for career development and advancement across industries and geographies, there is still much work to do to achieve gender balance.
Michelle Sequeira, diversity and inclusion expert at Mercer said:
For the first time since the launch of our ‘When Women Thrive’ study, six years ago, we’re starting to see significant progress around female representation in business. However, unless the pace of change accelerates it will take us over 30 years to achieve full gender representation in the workplace.
To enact real change businesses need to focus on inclusion as a whole and turn commitments to sustainable action. This includes prioritising initiatives that build an end-to-end employee experience which is adaptable for all, fostering a culture of caring for diverse health and financial needs, and underpinning with policies and practices that embrace flexibility and a personalised work environment.
Interested in diversity and inclusion. We recommend the Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2020.