How Global Companies Are Addressing Workplace Diversity Equity And Inclusion

Diverse companies earn 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee, and inclusive teams are more productive by over 35%, according to a 2022 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Global Market Report. With diversity and inclusion becoming more important than ever in order to create workplaces that are inclusive of everyone, advantages such as higher profits, employee retention, and the attraction of new talent present additional benefits that better a company as a whole. For many major and global brands, innovative strategies to elevate workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become the cornerstone of change — all the while inspiring small businesses to follow suit.

Exploring The Initiatives Of Global Brands

Forbes ranked America’s Best Employers For Diversity 2024 in a comprehensive list, with global leader Procter & Gamble coming in at 19. The seventh annual list is based in part on survey results from 170,000 people working for organizations with at least 1,000 employees in the United States. A 3BL CSRWire article submitted by P&G dives into the company’s values regarding equality and inclusion.  “At P&G, we create and value a global community of belonging, one in which employees can show up as 100% themselves 100% of the time,” the post highlights, further stating: “The thousands of employees around the globe who make up P&G bring their unique perspectives and experiences to the brands you know and love.” The post goes on to explore how P&G employees drive impact, noting that their people inspire inclusive products, tackle bias and spark conversations, and create a workplace where everyone thrives. P&G’s representation of women leaders is just one example as to how the company is pioneering change, as women make up 50% of P&G’s managers.

Unilever is another global company that is taking initiative when it comes to diversity and inclusion efforts, and in several key ways via a global strategy and goals. In Australia and New Zealand, for example, the company is striving to create an inclusive workplace in several noteworthy ways. These efforts involve the creation of a gender-balanced workforce, providing support for parents and families, taking action to include the LGBTQIA+ community, and unlocking talent of people with disabilities. Regarding their initiatives that work to unlock the talent of people with disabilities, for example, it’s noted that Unilever plans to be the number one employer of choice for disabled individuals — furthermore, by 2025, the company aims to have five percent of their workforce represented by those with disabilities. To advance the inclusion of those with disabilities in all aspects of business, the company has partnered with the Australian Network on Disability by working closely on a range of initiatives that range from recruitment to workplace adjustments.

Strengthening DEI Efforts In 2024

Companies that wish to strengthen their own diversity and inclusion initiatives can certainly learn from global pioneers, especially when considering the statistics that demonstrate a desperate need for change. For example, Forbes notes that 18.3% of the US population is Hispanic, however, just four percent of company executives are Hispanic. Furthermore, 12.5% of the population in the country is Black, though only 3.2% of senior leadership positions are held by Black people. The post by Ashley Stahl goes on to identify several steps that businesses can take in order to improve diversity and inclusion efforts among the workforce, from adjusting the hiring process to better facilitate diversity to establishing mentorships and beyond. Acknowledging the lack of diversity is third on the list, though remains an invaluable tip that can benefit anyone. “When employees feel respected and understood, they are more likely to be engaged in their work,” Stahl points out.

The development or reassessment of DEI strategies in 2024 can be a daunting endeavor, especially when it comes to concerns such as today’s social climate. A Forbes post by Dr. Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj notes that effective DEI approaches should have a combination of measurable outcomes and questioning progress, and goes on to highlight the words of Julie Thomas: “At CCEP (Coca-Cola Europacific Partners), we’ve implemented specific measures to help do this, including ensuring diverse candidate slates and balanced interview panels, as part of our Inclusive Recruitment Principles.” Thomas further notes that “Sometimes, success requires new ways of thinking,” and explains that the implementation of new processes allows the company to integrate practices like slowing down the hiring process.

For businesses around the world that wish to elevate equity in the workplace by revamping strategies and workplace practices, insurance is essential in order to minimize risk and protect the business. For example, general liability insurance is imperative when covering injury or damage to third parties, as well as advertising liability, though it’s crucial to determine what your business needs are in order to choose the right insurance package for you. General liability insurance is a staple for any business, and may be helpful in the case of diversity and inclusion should an issue arise that is covered and relates to DEI in some way. For example, advertising liability covers claims for stolen ideas and defamation, which could become an issue should a small business steal another’s unique idea for a diversity and inclusion campaign. It’s imperative to take into account that while general liability insurance covers a variety of situations, an additional type of insurance may be needed. If employees were to fly to a location for a DEI training program, for instance, accident and health coverage that protects employees is a great consideration.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion practices are becoming more prevalent, effectively working towards the creation of workplaces that embrace everyone. With the additional benefits that come along with heightening diversity efforts, there’s no question that major global brands are leading the way.