...and something for which measurements must be carefully tracked to achieve tangible outcomes. The goals and outcomes of I&D efforts are as important as any other business goals. The trick is to make sure the right set of indicators and systems are in place (inclusive products, pay equity, unbiased systems tracking performance and evaluations, etc.) to achieve the goals of a diverse, fair, and welcoming place to work.
While it's encouraging that many businesses are taking concrete steps towards truly embedding I&D, there's still significant progress to be made in corporate diversity. Our recent report, Reflecting Society: The State of Diverse Representation in Media and Entertainment, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, highlights the lack of diverse leaders and decision-makers across Platform and Media companies. In particular, the industry faces a challenge to effect greater representation in the more senior levels of organizations. Hearst’s 2020 diversity report, for example, shows that while 36% of new hires were people of color, only around 20% are in management and leadership positions.
Lack of diversity in leadership is a systemic challenge that requires bold actions to correct. These include focusing on retention and skills development, as well as creating more diverse networks and mentors for employees and leaders, along with making more leadership opportunities open to diverse workers.
While COVID played a part in forcing these workforce strategy areas up the agenda, other pressures from industry leaders and governing bodies are also driving action. Pivotal to the success of progress in corporate diversity is the board. Modern boards – those that are the most responsive to calls for progress on I&D and to engage with workforce strategy – are seizing the moment. Accenture Research on Modern Boards, reveals that compared with their less-engaged peers, Modern Boards are nearly twice as likely to be responsive to inclusion and diversity issues (both internal and external to the business) and more responsive to social issues that have an impact on corporate culture and employee wellbeing.
Design with purpose and accountability for success
There's no single prescription, or one-size-fits-all framework, for how to make real progress in I&D. Every organization will need to develop a clear governance framework that aligns to its needs and the specific values and impact the organization wants to have in society.
A comprehensive and clear governance framework provides the impetus and energy to fuel an I&D strategy for sustained success. This will allow Platform and Media companies to align their I&D initiatives, programs, and/or policies. Ultimately, that means they will be able to embed I&D throughout their organization - and reap the rewards of doing so.
So how should they go about doing this? Accenture’s recent Better to Belong study highlights three key ways to systemically embed diversity and inclusion. Companies need to: