Embrace Equity or Embed it?

Women at a desk

Is embracing equity enough? How about we embed it too?

DEI is top of mind for many organisations currently. It’s on the near-term agenda for corporate and commercial strategy, employee wellbeing, profitability, leadership, talent acquisition, and retention. And given that International Women’s Day is celebrated this week, we felt it a good time to share our less conventional thoughts on how to Embrace Equity.

First, some statistics…

  • Research from the Korn Ferry Institute stated that diverse and inclusive teams make better decisions***.

The statistics are powerful, yet many organisations are still finding it challenging to embed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Often DEI implementation initiatives create an early groundswell, losing momentum after the kick-off, with messages and actions becoming less and less sustained. 

Perhaps it’s time to ‘reverse-engineer’ how we initiate equity to all…

We know that inclusive organisations are hugely aware of the importance of (and value in) providing for the differing requirements of newer individuals, those earlier in their careers, and all individuals with lived experience of the protected characteristics. There is a tangible commitment to find and remove operational, cultural and environmental barriers that the workforce might be experiencing when accessing opportunities. But organisations routinely miss a step by de-prioritising the differing needs of senior leadership around this strategic topic, or perhaps the relevant data is missing (beyond representation and pay parity). 

What are the support needs of your senior leadership team?

What barriers are they experiencing?

What career-conditioning is informing their decisions and actions?

What if they’re currently ‘over-represented but under-informed’?

DEI champions the productive concept that everyone arrives from a different starting point, and that our job is to meet them there. What starting point are our senior leaders coming from? Oftentimes, if further into their career, these individuals have had considerable exposure to outmoded and inadequate systemic approaches to workforce performance. 

By focussing on the needs of our senior leaders, and meeting them at their starting points, we will not only embrace equity (embracing feels naturally warm and well-intentioned) but also embed it, by actioning our intentions and measuring our outcomes.

Does your organisation embrace equity or embed it?

What support does your senior leadership team need?

Come and talk to us about our Executive Leadership and Performance Coaching Programmes – we look forward to working with you!

*  McKinsey’s study found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 36% more likely to have financial returns above respective national industry medians. The study also found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 21% more likely to have financial returns above medians.

**  The CECP report found that inclusive organisations are ‘1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders and 70% more likely to capture new markets’.

***  The Korn Ferry Institute found that diverse and inclusive teams make better decisions 87% of the time.

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