How successful are companies at communicating their diversity commitments?
By Harry Slack
The modern workforce places a greater emphasis on diversity than ever before, and this should not come as a surprise. As discussed in our Careers Report 2019, they expect companies to show evidence of their work with equal opportunities, but also that this information is conveyed across their corporate websites.
This article breaks down what the results of the 2019-2020 Webranking by Comprend season reveal about diversity and the world’s largest companies: what they’re talking about, why these topics are important, and whether or not they are doing enough to fulfil their stakeholders’ expectations.
Diversity in the workplace refers to companies aiming to hire from a wide and varied candidate pool, with this extending internally to also include a focus on fostering equal engagement and opportunities in the workplace. There are a number of areas related to diversity that are frequently included on corporate websites: gender, ethnicity, and age are some of the most common.
72% of the companies ranked during this Webranking season have made sure to at least include basic information regarding their policy on diversity, with 37% of these companies scoring high on their diversity data presentation.
The importance of diversity in the workplace
Companies can greatly benefit from including information on their work with diversity, as this is not only in line with cultural values, but it can also act as a way to showcase their proactive nature and create an overall positive corporate image – both of which are known to have an impacting shareholder value. Further to this positive impact on corporate reputation, there are a number of benefits that come from a diverse workplace as it can help fill in an array of talent gaps. Using the BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) community as an example, the McGregor-Smith review states that focusing on providing them with career opportunities can lead to an increase of £24 billion a year for the UK economy. This review only concerns one possible dimension of diversity, so the potential of fully engaging with it is great!
The younger generation of jobseekers is also increasingly concerned with diversity. For example, 85% of millennial females have stated that they’ve considered a future employer’s diversity and inclusion policy before accepting a job. Companies must work to provide extensive diversity information if they wish to keep attracting top talent.
Current state of diversity on corporate websites
When considering diversity on their corporate website, ranked companies tended to place an emphasis on their gender and ethnicity figures. Gender equality in particular was a prominent theme amongst those who satisfied all the Webranking criteria. This is a great starting point, but companies should strive for a wider coverage that includes other aspects of diversity.
A number of companies have included more than simple figures for men and women in the company. 3i Group, for example, show the gender breakdown for each of their top management roles, senior managers, and group directors. This level of transparency and helps shows their awareness of present equality issues.
Instead of putting up their current data, some companies prefer to put up diversity targets, as seen here with Allianz. This is good practice, as it allows those interested to see the future direction of the company. However, it is recommended to also include current figures alongside targets, as this adds detail and showcases progress made towards achieving these goals.
There is also scope for companies to provide information on specific elements of their diversity profile. Apple has an extremely comprehensive section, which goes into extensive detail, particularly when it comes to underrepresented minorities in the USA. They discuss their progress with the overall representation of these groups and also include information on how many of these employees are under 30 years old – an interesting statistic, as they are the future of the company and give a clear indication of the path the company is on.
Opportunity for business
The most recent Webranking season (2019-2020) has shown that only 55% of companies included anything about diversity on their corporate website, showing that this area still presents a hurdle for many companies. Diversity information is most lacking in the construction & materials and real estate sectors, both of which have scored an average of 42%. These figures present a great opportunity, not only for these sectors, but for companies in general to review their coverage of diversity and then improve it.
This year's Webranking report
Do you want to make sure your corporate website is ready for the increasing need for diversity information? Get in touch with us.