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Ensuring sustained leadership commitment to achieving DE&I success

31 Aug 2021

Compass Executives reflects on the progress of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) in 2021, and offers our advice for sustaining momentum as companies continue to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses.

There has been a significant shift in businesses attitudes towards the significance of DE&I with organisations putting the issue firmly on their agenda as a key priority. Achieving diversity and inclusion in a leadership team requires sustained commitment and multiple approaches that work together.

The dynamic nature of diversity, equity and inclusion means organisations need to change the way they think about their DE&I operating models. Certain elements – the right people, budget and other resources are fundamental. What is equally important is the ability to adapt over time to meet an organisation’s changing needs. Including reviewing state of current needs and adapting where necessary.

The most effective DE&I recruitment and retention initiatives include:

  • Commitment to DE&I as an organisation-wide business priority with processes embedded to engage leaders across the business. Commit to a diversity action plan that will create more opportunities for those from Black, Asian and underrepresented groups.
  • Data collection and target setting with positive action taken at entry level through to board appointments to measure and monitor progress, recognising that DE&I is an issue that needs constant and proactive tending. What an organisation needs from its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts may be different tomorrow than it was yesterday.
  • Recognising the importance of the voice of employee and ways to hear it by amplifying diverse voices within your organisation. This could be through executive-sponsored employee resource groups and also offering training internally to staff to develop cultures of inclusion.
  • Have diverse networks – forming relationships with DE&I organisations – professional networks for underrepresented leaders, mentoring initiatives and industry events for specific diverse groups.
  • Partnering with search firms who have proven networks of diverse leadership talent. Listen to those who engage on a daily basis with diverse leaders. Specifically those who can add innovative and fresh ideas to your business to implement positive, meaningful change.

If you would like to hear more about Compass Executives’ DE&I track record, or discuss your long-term objectives for ensuring sustained leadership commitment through a balanced, equitable board, please contact [email protected].

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