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CSR & ESG
Published  9 MIN READ

Diversity and Inclusion: the Need for Courageous Integrity

Companies across the globe are striving for a more caring and responsible relationship with employees and the communities in which they operate. But are they doing enough to make sure that diverse hires thrive within the organisation? And that employees from under-represented groups feel included as valued, appreciated contributors? Four diversity and inclusion champions share their views on these topics and explain how corporate treasurers can help to create a productive and inclusive work environment.

It comes as little surprise then that, according to research by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), up to 98% of large companies (above 1,000 employees) currently run D&I programmes [2]. Nevertheless, BCG also reports that three-quarters of employees in under-represented groups, such as LGBTQ colleagues, ethnic minorities and women, do not believe they have personally benefited from the D&I investments their employers have made [3].Diverse and inclusive teams are now widely recognised as being beneficial to businesses. With true diversity and inclusion (D&I) comes the potential for: improved performance, better understanding of customers, greater innovation, improved employee recruitment and retention, not to mention brand enhancement [1].

This suggests that while organisations may be making progress on the diversity front, progress on inclusion is not necessarily so rapid. As an HSBC representative comments: “A lot of companies are active around diversity, but not necessarily inclusion – yet you can’t have one without the other. Acknowledging the benefit of having different perspectives in decision-making and building a workforce that is representative of the organisation's customers is a great first step. However, we also have to ensure that employees’ differences are valued and that everyone is enabled to thrive at work.”

How then can companies move beyond basic diversity and inclusion compliance towards embedded and embodied D&I values? And what is the role of the treasurer in supporting true D&I?