What was once considered a discretionary add on or the sole responsibility of HR, diversity and inclusion has become an important part of business strategy. As global awareness of diversity and inclusion increased, along with it came a wealth of research. This multi-sector review of the most prominent reports produced in 2017 across insurance and other sectors gives an insight in to the trends, highlights and key findings that have shaped the progress and actions of the Inclusion@Lloyd’s committee throughout 2017.
Throughout the year, workplace culture dominated headlines from the a-list #MeToo campaign out of Hollywood to the predicted results and subsequent gearing up to Gender Pay Gap reporting in the UK. As transparency from the top became more important to employees, shareholders, customers and even the public, leaders understand that the impact of accountability has more weight than ever.
The financial services and consulting industries continue to take the lead in terms of volume of research, looking at issues of gender equality, inclusive workforces, ethnicity on boards and LGBT. These organisations give guidance to others competing in the global marketplace and highlight issues that are apparent at a global scale, not only defined by territory. In addition, the year saw a distinct uplift in awareness of mental health in the workplace, not only in qualifying research but also more generally through campaigns aimed to highlight the topic throughout the corporate space.
KPMG drew attention to this in its report Bring your whole self to work (May ’17), as it seeks to empower employees to think about inclusion in its entirety for all employees rather than siloed themes, placing emphasis on inclusion before diversity.
The number of executives who cited inclusion as a top priority has risen by 32% since 2014 (Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends (Feb ‘17). In addition, PwC’s Opening up on diversity: Getting to grips with the reputational risks (Feb ‘17) cites diversity and inclusion as a reputational risk that financial services firms can’t afford to ignore.