Please see below selected recent diversity-related change.
- What's New? - Diversity
- What's Changing? - Animals
- What's Changing? - Disability
- What's Changing? - Equality
- What's Changing? - Environment
- What's Changing? - Gender
- What's Changing? - Regeneration
- An international biodiversity fund which aims to ramp up investment in nature restoration launched in 2023. The Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) was agreed by 185 nations in Vancouver, Canada. It is seen as a key tool in delivering on COP15’s ‘30 by 30’ pledge: a landmark agreement to protect 30% of Earth by 2030.
- While diversity is generally seen as a positive thing in the workplace, it can make coordination harder when there are more divergent views. Research from the Georgia Institute of Technology explored how diverse teams can manage to function effectively. The researchers believe that the key is what’s known as a multicultural paradox mindset, which they define as “the degree to which one is accepting of and energised by intercultural tensions, both emphasising cultural differences and finding common ground.” If such a mindset is present in a team then any differences are handled well and the team can be productive.
- Many organisations are cutting budgets and roles committed to advancing belonging at work. An old-fashioned focus on financials has threatened to overshadow newer corporate DEI and ESG priorities since the start of the pandemic. As the Wall Street Journal noted, mentions of climate and social-impact initiatives during earnings calls fell for five consecutive quarters to mid-2023.
- Pointing to the global decline of biodiversity, the FT warned that we are losing species at more than 1,000 times the natural rate. If we stay on this trajectory, we risk losing up to half of them by the middle of the century. Biodiversity loss poses a fundamental risk to health, prosperity and wellbeing and a singular focus on solving climate change has led to the neglect of biodiversity, the result being that many climate efforts inadvertently accelerate nature’s destruction. (Take the huge need for solar farms. If not located properly, they will have a big impact on ecosystems and habitats.)
- LGBTQ+ rights are not distributed equally around the globe. While some countries are taking progressive steps towards equal rights, just as many are implementing discriminatory and dangerous anti-LGBTQ legislation. From Latin America to Oceania, members of the LGBTQ+ community still face repression, imprisonment, and even death threats.
- Researchers embarked on a global initiative to discover and record marine life hidden in the world’s oceans. Ocean Census aims to identify 100,000 unknown species in the next 10 years, allowing scientists to better understand and protect the deep-sea ecosystem. There are huge gaps in our knowledge of the ocean depths. Of the 2.2 million species believed to exist in the Earth’s oceans, only 240,000 have been described by scientists, according to the census. The initiative builds on past projects such as the Census of Marine Life, which concluded in 2010 and identified 6,000 potential new ocean species.
- The UK government-backed Parker Review found that 96% of FTSE 100 companies had met the target of having at least one minority ethnic director on their boards. The review, established to improve diversity in Britain's boardrooms, then revealed new targets. Specifically, it asked FTSE 350 companies to set a percentage target for senior management positions occupied by ethnic minority executives, by December 2027. Meanwhile, the UK's 50 largest private companies will also be asked to ensure at least one ethnic minority director is on their board by the end of 2027.
- A report by Deloitte argued that neurodiversity can add “valuable ways of thinking and problem-solving”. However, data from the Office for National Statistics showed that only 29% of UK adults with autism were employed. Disclosing a diagnosis is a sensitive issue. Dan Harris, chief executive of Neurodiversity in Business, a charity made up of neurodivergent employees advocating best practices for employers, said that for many the “anxiety is that [telling their employer] will damage my career prospects”.
- Technology has long had a diversity problem, but with the current slowdown in funding and economic growth, many investors and founders are concerned that things could get worse. According to Atomico’s State of European Tech report, all-female founding teams accounted for 6% of all funding rounds in 2022, but only 1% of the funding raised. It’s a poor statistic that's actually got worse; it was also 1% in 2021, down from 3% in 2020.
- Further reading:
- Fina, the international federation that administers competitions in water sports, approved a swimming cap designed for athletes with natural afro hair. Soul Cap is designed for swimmers with thick, curly hair and styles such as dreadlocks, weaves and braids. Soul Cap said Fina had previously told them the hats weren't suitable because they didn't follow "the natural form of the head", the BBC reports, and were banned from the 2020 Olympics. After outrage at the decision, the company was invited to reapply for a place on Fina’s approved list of competitive swimwear.
- Further reading:
- Bias in mental health diagnosis gets in the way of treatment - Psyche Ideas
- DEI Initiatives Are Futile Without Accountability - HBR
- Do Your Diversity Initiatives Promote Assimilation Over Inclusion? - HBR
- Reinventing Gender Diversity Programs for a Post-Pandemic World - BCG
- The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Outlook - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
- Your “Autism Awareness Day” Might Be Excluding Autistic People - HBR
- Researchers identified what they refer to as a "diversity illusion", in which people overestimate the presence of racial and ethnic minorities in social settings such as work or school. Strikingly, even racial and ethnic minority group members are prone to this bias, reported the Jerusalem Post. The academic paper warned that thhe illusion might reduce support for diversity-promoting policies.
- The shift to remote work benefitted many knowledge workers, but especially the neurodiverse - those with conditions including autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. Typical office environments, where social interactions are continuous and often unpredictable, can be overwhelming for people with brains that function differently from the neurotypical. Neurodiverse workers interviewed by The Wall Street Journal said they had thrived since going remote, finding it much easier to interact with colleagues through virtual-communication channels
- LinkedIn warned that there is a “shocking lack of diversity” in the UK boardroom, with disabled women and LGBTQ people missing from top positions and no women of colour featured on the FTSE 100 chief executive list. Only eight of the 100 chief executives featured on the FTSE list are women, and of the 414 board positions held by women in 2021, 385 of those were non-executive roles. Campaign group the 30% Club said that the pipeline of women progressing to leadership positions “has got a bottleneck”, and the Fawcett Society called progress “painfully slow”.
- BCG conducted research on 40,000 consumers in 18 of the world’s biggest markets about their mindsets and the needs they seek to fulfil when making a purchase. After running regressions on 130 variables that determine consumer choice, BCG found a world of significant diversity. While they detected strong similarities among consumers in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK, their analysis found that mindsets in every Asian market they studied were quite unique. European mindsets also aren’t as similar as they thought. In terms of specific attitudes, they found that Chinese consumers care deeply about how they are perceived by peers, but Russian and French consumers generally do not. And while Nigerians, Mexicans, and Indians were very keen to start businesses, Japanese consumers expressed little interest in entrepreneurship.
- Neurodiverse people still face discriminatory practices in the workplace, according to Charlotte Valeur, a former Institute of Directors chair. Valeur has now launched the Institute of Neurodiversity in the UK, Europe and Australia, with the aim to champion policies that help the neurodiverse - a group that includes those with autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and Tourette syndrome. Valeur, who was diagnosed with autism in her 50s, said her ambition for the institute is “to celebrate that we are here, as opposed to look for a way to get rid of us”.
- One trend heightened by the growing inequalities at work exposed by the pandemic is that more organisations are appointing a chief diversity officer. Research by LinkedIn in 2020 found the number of people with the title “head of diversity” more than doubled worldwide between 2015 and 2020, while the “director of diversity” title rose 75 per cent and “chief diversity officer”, 68 per cent. The CDO role includes identifying and measuring gaps in an organisation’s equal opportunities structures and creating a strategy to tackle discrimination and improve representation across ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, disability and class.
- Diversity wins is the third report in a McKinsey series investigating the business case for diversity, following Why diversity matters (2015) and Delivering through diversity (2018). The firm's latest report showed not only that the business case remains robust but also that the relationship between diversity on executive teams and the likelihood of financial outperformance has strengthened over time.
- Different factors shape popular attitudes towards LGBT communities within a given country. In states with heavy religious overtones, like Poland and Russia for instance, the general population is less likely to accept that gay people should be broadly accepted by society. Meanwhile, residents in nations where right-leaning politics dominate are also less likely to support the LGBT community's rights, according to a Pew study.
- Diversity fatigue is setting in as some governments roll back targets; for example, Japan removed its target of 30% female managers by 2020. A 30% target is the threshold to move beyond tokenism and achieve the benefit of diverse viewpoints, leading to greater innovation and better outcomes. Achieving a 30% target requires planning across all levels, but only 18% of companies have structured programmes, warned EY.
- The US Nasdaq exchange filed a proposal to require all companies listed on its US exchange to have at least two board members who are not straight, white men. If the Securities and Exchange Commission approved it, it should lead to at least another 570 women on corporate boards - that’s how many Nasdaq companies currently have no female representation at the director level - and at least as many new directors who identify as Black, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, bi-racial, or LGBTQ.
- Prospect reported that in 2017, the Parker Review, an independent government-backed report, laid down a simple challenge to Britain’s FTSE 100 companies: to appoint at least one director from an ethnic minority background by the end of 2021, with a slightly more distant deadline of 2024 for smaller FTSE 250 boards. Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) board members made up just 8 per cent of the UK’s total, while the UK BAME population is 14 per cent. If you only consider British BAME citizens, thereby excluding investors and high-flyers jetted in from elsewhere, the number plummeted to 2 per cent. Minority directors are clustered in a few firms, often with specific Asian and African connections: just seven companies in the UK contained 40 per cent of the nation’s BAME directors. Progress was tracked in an updated 2020 Parker Review and it appeared wanting. Out of the 256 companies with meaningful data, 150 had yet to appoint a BAME board member.
- Neurodiversity is "emerging as the 'final frontier' in the diversity debate", noted the Financial Times - and employers are taking note. In the UK, for example, only 16% of adults on the autism spectrum had full-time employment in 2016; they and other neurodiverse people can face discrimination and challenges at school or work. But increasingly, organisations - from SAP to Universal Music to the Israeli Army - have begun to focus on recruiting and retaining neurodiverse talent. “Having people who think differently and see the world differently is really going to support innovation," said James Cusack, CEO of charity Autistica.
- As the damaging and potentially dehumanising effects of systemic racism have grown impossible to deny, HBR warned that business leaders must step up and address race and racism head-on. Yet improving racial dynamics in the workplace setting - such as fixing bias in hiring, supporting minority employees, and promoting authentic racial identity - can be extremely difficult for even the most skilled and well-intentioned leaders.
- The 2020 Black Pound report found that 66% of people spoken to were unsatisfied with the representation of B.A.M.E/Multicultural representation in the media (especially advertisements)., 70% of B.A.M.E/Multicultural consumers felt undervalued as a consumer in the UK and 65% of B.A.M.E/Multicultural consumers felt they required more access to financial knowledge. In response, the report's author used her research to build Creative Equals - a global nonprofit organisation that drives diversity, equity and inclusion across the creative sector.
- As the coronavirus pandemic changed work and social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter gained global attention, diversity and inclusion roles were spotlighted. Firms that see D&I as a “nice to have” were being shown up, says author Pragya Agarwal, while the pandemic highlighted issues such as economic inequalities that show the need for greater inclusion. Research also showed financial advantages in diversity, with more diverse teams generating greater innovations and profits. LinkedIn data shows that D&I roles have grown rapidly between 2015-2020, rising 75% in France, 81% in Germany and 58% in the UK.
- Most corporate leaders now understand that in today’s business environment, companies must achieve diversity if they want to acquire and retain talent, build employee engagement, and improve business performance. (See How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation from BCG.) But many leaders still have blind spots regarding diversity. They underestimate the obstacles confronting an employee of a diverse group, perceiving a workplace with far less bias than actually exists. They launch programs that they think will yield improvements, but their decisions are based on gut instinct rather than proven results. Unless they acknowledge their blind spots, these leaders won’t make meaningful progress on diversity, warned BCG.
- During the coronavirus pandemic, McKinsey warned that the lessons from previous crises tell us there is a very real risk that inclusion and diversity may now recede as a strategic priority for organisations. This may be quite unintentional: companies will focus on their most pressing basic needs—such as urgent measures to adapt to new ways of working; consolidate workforce capacity; and maintain productivity, a sense of connection, and the physical and mental health of their employees. Yet companies pulling back on diversity may be placing themselves at a disadvantage: they could not only face a backlash from customers and talent now but also, down the line, fail to better position themselves for growth and renewal.
- The chief diversity officer role is a relatively new position among mainstream organisations, but one that is increasingly vital as companies understand the business benefits of having a diverse workforce.
- Encouraging cognitive diversity in teams is recognised by management literature as improving the quality of our decision making, but it is often hard to apply these principles to debates with significant real world effects on local and global communities, particularly when those involved in the debates also have a personal stake in the outcome.
- A recent genetic study suggested that all modern humans can trace their heritage back to what is now a desert area of northern Botswana that was once a vibrant wetland. The researchers, who used DNA analysis and climate models for the study, said that groups of early Homo sapiens left the area in distinct waves 130,000 years ago and 110,000 years ago.
- Over the past decade, the acceptance of homosexuality has reportedly improved dramatically in the eyes of the Chinese public. And, though the government has increased restriction on LGBTQ+ content, the gay community is resisting and flourishing in cities like Chengdu, fuelling China's $300 billion rainbow economy.
- Further reading:
- Employees who differ from most of their colleagues in religion, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, and generation often hide important parts of themselves at work for fear of negative consequences, warned Harvard Business Review. The diversity and inclusion community call this “identity cover,” and it makes it difficult to know how they feel and what they want, which makes them vulnerable to leaving their organisations.
- Further reading:
- Companies report that they are highly committed to gender diversity. But that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress. The proportion of women at every level in corporate life has hardly changed in some of the most developed countries. Progress isn’t just slow. It’s stalled, found McKinsey in Women in the Workplace 2018, a study conducted in partnership with LeanIn.Org.
- How to create more diverse workplaces and how to use AI ethically are among the more challenging dilemmas facing business and government, according to The New York Times. While the issues may appear to have little in common besides their complexity, they do overlap. Recently, for example, according to news reports Amazon abandoned a hiring tool that used artificial intelligence because it favoured men.
- Papua New Guinea is the most ethnically diverse country in the world with more than 800 languages spoken across 600 sparsely populated islands.
- While most large organisations have some form of diversity and inclusion initiative in place, all too many focus narrowly on gender and sometimes race. However, Raconteur warned, this leaves out key considerations such as socio-economic background. Its significance lies in the fact that it cuts across all demographic groups, irrespective of age, race, gender, sexuality or the like, and leads to a general lack of opportunities in life.
- It’s time to decolonise philosophy, argued Quartz. In South Africa, for example, many universities still teach philosophy through the lens of dead white European men. However, there is a growing movement to incorporate African ideas like ubuntu - a humanist principle that holds that the self exists in relation to others - into college curriculums, offering students a new way to look at ethics, morality, and free will.
- According to Gallup, recent years have been marked by an uptick in awareness of the many challenges organisations and society face in identifying and truly understanding the unique differences among people. From the #MeToo movement to various headline scandals, diversity and inclusion have been brought to the forefront of workplace dialogue.
- Japan is one of the most ethnically homogenous countries on earth. Foreign-born residents make up just 2 percent of the population, and although that number has risen in recent years, it’s still far lower than in Europe or the US where 10-15 percent of the population hails from abroad. What’s more, a majority of Japanese like it that way: close to 60 percent of Japanese think that diversity makes a country worse off, according to a 2017 poll.
- Chelsea FC, the English football club, announced that it would send fans found guilty of anti-Semitic abuse to Auschwitz. The club’s charitable foundation has been working to raise awareness of anti-Semitism under its Jewish owner, Roman Abramovich. Previously, the team would ban fans that were overtly racist at matches for up to three years. Under the new initiative, fans will be given the option to take educational rehabilitation courses at the concentration camp instead of being banned.
- Scientists today are calling for a specialised biodiversity bank to document the world's microorganisms, at risk from the overuse of processed food and antibiotics, reported Futures Centrw. The model they propose is similar to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault - which flooded in 2017 due to melting permafrost. Recently retrofitted, it is now a flood-proof ark for seeds.
- Further reading:
- The share of foreign-born people living in the US has reached its highest point since 1910. The foreign-born population stood at 13.7 percent in 2017. That’s 44.5 million people.
- A group of international investors managing more than $12 trillion wrote to 500 of the world’s top companies calling for more information about the treatment of their employees. More than 100 institutional investors from 11 countries signed a letter sent by the Workforce Disclosure Initiative seeking better data on issues such as diversity, workers’ rights and health and safety in their supply chains.
- Adding diversity to a company’s strategy doesn’t guarantee more innovative thinking; indeed, diversity can cause tension and arguments rather than creativity if one doesn’t implement it properly. A new book, Driven by Difference, claimed to offer a remedy to this diversity conundrum: cultural intelligence (CQ).
- The gender pay gap starts with babysitting. Girls who are emotionally attached to the children they care for receive the lowest raises.
- Does the gender of executives make a difference to business performance, asked the Financial Times? The evidence is mounting that it does, claimed the FT. In some developing economies, women are joining the top ranks of business management at the same pace as those in western countries.
- Investing in access to essential services and reducing the gap in labour-force participation rates could significantly expand the global economy by 2025. The McKinsey Global Institute's 'The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth' report focused on the enormous potential associated with narrowing the gender gap, and found that if every country did so at the same historical rate as the fastest-improving country in its regional peer group, the world could add $12 trillion to annual gross domestic product in 2025. That’s some 11% higher than it would be under the business-as-usual scenario.
- Bain & Company recently launched a study that asked more than 1,000 men and women in a mix of US companies two questions: “Do you aspire to top management within a large company?” and “Do you have the confidence you can reach top management?” Women with two years or less of work experience slightly led men in ambition. But for women who had more than two years on the job, aspiration and confidence plummeted 60% and nearly 50%, respectively. These declines came independent of marriage and motherhood status, and compared with much smaller changes for men, who experienced only a 10% dip in confidence.
- A paper for the European Corporate Governance Institute warned that diverse boards may mean that diverse individual preferences may fail to univocally aggregate in collective preferences and may consequently lead to arbitrary and volatile decisions. Firms with more diverse boards rend to have greater stock return and fundamental volatility, suggesting that board diversity indeed makes decision-making more erratic. Also, firms with diverse boards have less persistent strategies and analysts make larger forecast errors in predicting their performance supporting the conjecture that board members’ diverse preferences lead to hard to predict decisions. Executive and director turnovers are also higher in firms with diverse boards.
- 40% of today’s global workforce are female yet just 5% of global CEO positions are held by women. Yet when women do reach executive positions they, and the companies they work for, tend to flourish. How can organisations close this gap, asked PwC's Spotlight on Gender Diversity.
- PwC's research report Modern mobility: Moving women with purpose is based on the findings of research among almost 4,000 working professionals based in over 40 countries (2,285 were women and 1,652 were men), and 134 global mobility executives representing international organisations headquartered in 23 different countries and with a combined workforce of some 4 million employees.
- UK firms that fail to address the pay gap between male and female employees with be listed in new league tables. Companies with over 250 employees will have to publish their gender pay gap under measures being announced by the Government to tackle inequality. The new league tables will also be launched giving details of companies failing to address the problem, but they won't be revealed until 2018.
- In the US, the Executives’ Club of Chicago (EC) announced a relationship with Deloitte in 2016, which works to expand diversity and inclusion awareness, best practices and thought leadership for Chicago’s business community through its newly formed Diversity Leadership Council and programme series. Together with Deloitte, Chair of The Club’s newly formed Diversity Leadership Council, The EC plans to shape conversations, share best practices and stay committed to making diversity and inclusion a priority for Chicago’s business leadership.
- Despite movements like the 30% Club and government action to get more women in leadership in countries ranging from Germany to India to United Arab Emirates, gender parity is actually getting worse, warned EY. When it launched the gender parity countdown clock at Davos last year, it was a countdown from 80 years. That was bad enough. But the World Economic Forum’s latest research - 'Global Gender Gap Report 2015- shows it will now take 117 years to close the gender gap.
- Men still dominate the executive and senior management ranks of major companies even as women have made headway on boards, according to an analysis of some of the biggest companies in Europe and the US. The progress in increased representation for women in non-executive boardroom roles has not been matched in executive promotions, research by executive search firm MWM Consulting revealed.
- This year it is Finland that comes out as the best place to be a working woman, overtaking Sweden and knocking Norway off the top spot. It scores highest of the 28 countries in The Economist's index for the share of women in higher education (where their lead over males has grown), female labour-force participation and women taking the GMAT (business-school entrance exam), now over 50%. Finland has also increased its paid maternity leave by more than two weeks. Norway still has more women on company boards than other countries, thanks to a 40% mandatory quota that came into effect in 2008, but women's share of senior management jobs is slightly down on last year. While the share of parliamentary seats occupied by women in Norway and Finland has not changed, it fell slightly in Sweden, where the gender pay gap has also widened, and is now closer to the OECD average.
- Deloitte LLP announced that Janet Foutty had been named chairman and chief executive officer of Deloitte Consulting LLP, effective January 1, 2016. Foutty succeeds Jim Moffatt, who has recently been named global consulting business leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Foutty, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, was Deloitte’s federal practice leader and led more than 7,300 practitioners to help federal agencies transform into more efficient, effective organisations. She expanded the practice over the past three years. She previously led nearly 17,000 professionals in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s technology practice, where she achieved double-digit growth and launched several innovative businesses that address clients’ needs in evolving areas. During her 25-year tenure with Deloitte, Foutty has served clients across several industries and has raised visibility of thought leadership in key federal areas, including veterans’ issues, millennials in public service, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
- Accenture named a record number of 723 people to managing director and senior managing director. “Each of these individuals brings the talent, leadership and experience that we need to serve our clients, develop our more than 358,000 people and run Accenture as a world-class business," said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO. "These promotions reflect our commitment to career growth and opportunities for our people. We salute these executives and their contributions to Accenture – and to our clients." Women account for more than 28% of the new managing directors and senior managing directors – up from 21% in 2014.
- In 'The gender-equality imperative', McKinsey Global Institute discussed the economic and ethical reasons why gender equality is a worthy goal. Gender equality in business would have numerous benefits - and could add trillions of dollars to the global economy, according to McKinsey, which outlined the steps government and business could take to encourage parity for women.
- BDO recently partnered with ProfessionalMums.net, a service that connects highly skilled women, including accountants and management consultants, with flexible employers. BDO’s head of people and culture, said, “We all recognise that it’s been difficult historically to break through to partnership, and we’re keen to provide the sort of structure and support that will enable more talented women to make it to partner."
- Deloitte and KPMG emerged as the most female-friendly of Australia's largest accounting partnerships, based on the percentage of women at the senior level, according to The Australian Financial Review Accounting Partnership survey. At the partner level, Deloitte topped the list with female partners making up 23%, or 144, of the total of 632 partners. KPMG was not far behind with female partners making up one in five of its 402 partners, while 18% of PwC's equity partners are women. EY had a partnership that was 17% female.
- Deloitte Australia CEO Cindy Hook argued that organisations need to work much harder to ensure talented women achieve senior level positions. Ms Hook stressed that Deloitte is determined to intensify its focus on achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace for all employees. The pledge comes with Deloitte recently named a 2015 employer of choice for gender equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), one of 90 Australian businesses to receive such a citation.
- Halving the gender gap in global employment could lead to an additional gain of 6% in the GDP by 2030, according to Shaping Tomorrow, whose other key findings included the following: eliminating employment gender gaps could boost GDP by 5% in the U.S. women are expected to control nearly 75% of discretionary spending worldwide by 2028; and while there has been a global trend towards widening participation and improving the opportunities and learning outcomes for students from diverse backgrounds, trend projections for 145 countries with data show that only 62 countries will have achieved gender parity in enrolment for both primary and secondary education by the end of this year.
- A new study by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the cost of gender inequality is even higher than previously thought – with far-reaching consequences. The McKinsey study used 15 indicators – including common measurements of economic equality, like wages and labour-force participation rates, as well as metrics for social, political, and legal equality – to assign “gender parity scores” to 95 countries, accounting for 97% of global GDP and 93% of the world’s women. Countries also received scores for individual indicators. Unsurprisingly, high scores on social indicators correspond with high scores on economic indicators. Moreover, higher gender-parity scores strongly correlate with higher levels of development, as measured by GDP per capita and the degree of urbanisation. One overarching conclusion of the McKinsey study is that, despite progress in many parts of the world, gender inequality remains significant and multi-dimensional.
- PwC developed its latest Diversity & Inclusion Point of View - 'Making diversity a reality’ - now available on Spark. Diversity and inclusiveness are now competitive imperatives within an evolving financial services (FS) marketplace; investors want it, customers and staff expect it. Many FS organisations are moving back into hiring mode. But the type of people they need are changing as they grapple with the impact of new technology, new regulation, changing customer expectations and shifts in global economic power. Nearly 80% of the FS industry leaders who took part in our latest global CEO survey are looking for a broader range of skills when recruiting than in the past. Encouraging greater diversity and inclusion is a critical part of meeting these new talent demands.
- Diversity is one of the most powerful motivators for a group to search for novel information and perspectives, and leads to better decision making and problem solving. That’s the conclusion drawn in a new Scientific American article based on an extensive multi-disciplinary study of current and past research. Diversity is not only about bringing different perspectives to the table. Simply adding social diversity to a group makes people believe that differences of perspective might exist among them and that belief makes people change their behaviour, so diversity works by promoting hard work and creativity; by encouraging the consideration of alternatives even before any interpersonal interaction takes place.
- Asking Is Technology the New Human Rights Issue for Women?, the Huffington Post warned that, while 85% of the adult population in the United States has Internet access, with nearly equal access between men and women, the developing world is woefully behind. The Clinton/Gates report also revealed that in the developing world, 200 million fewer women than men use the internet, which is projected to grow to 350 million within three years unless something is done.
- PwC UK General Counsel and Executive Board member Margaret Cole joined female business leaders for Santander’s Women in Business pop-up event to debate what it takes to get more women a seat at the top table. Progress has been made promoting women in all walks of life. In the ranks of FTSE 100 firms, for example, in just a few years there has been a noticeable rise in the number of women joining boards.More women are now taking the top jobs that were once considered a male preserve, but many more still need help on the way up.
- The new FT Women in Business topic page featured news, comment, and analysis on women and the workplace. It collated all relevant articles and multimedia from across the FT to investigate today's challenge and opportunities, such as the economic consequences of gender equality and why there are still so few hedge funds run by women.
- Companies with diverse executive boards outperform peers run by all-male boards according to a new Grant Thornton (GT) study which covered listed companies in India, the UK and US. GT estimated the opportunity cost for companies with male-only executive boards (in terms of lower returns on assets) at US$655bn in 2014. "Women in business: the value of diversity" scrutinised the financial performance of companies listed on the S&P 500, CNX 200 and FTSE 350. Some progress has been made by women at a non-executive level, but the GT report focuseed on whether diverse executive teams - the people involved in day-to-day business operations - outperform male-only peers.
- While many organisations now have healthy gender balances and sincerely believe in equality, the Financial Times noted that the fact remains that the higher up the tree you go, the more male-dominated business becomes. The 500 US biggest listed companies rarely registers more than 25 female chief executives, while in the UK the FTSE 100 currently has six. In the case of the FTSE, this is an all-time high, yet women are outnumbered by men named John by around 3:1 and by men called Dave by 2:1.
- The Washington Post commented on Accenture’s evolving diversity initiatives, “The global consulting firm, whose consultants often travel weekly when assigned to a remote client's site, announced new benefits for employees who are the primary caregiver of a new child. For the first year after they return from leave, consultants in North America will be assigned to work on client projects in their local areas, rather than being asked to travel frequently." The firm also introduced a programme, similar to one recently introduced by IBM, that lets employees ship pumped breast milk home at no cost when travelling on business, as well as expanding the number of hours of back-up dependent care provided to employees.
- Improving diversity and promoting equal opportunity are a priority for KPMG UK chairman Simon Collins. "We're not promoting women. I’ve always thought of myself having a clean heart and dirty hands on this issue because I’ve felt strongly about it for a long time and yet not made anything like enough of a difference.” In last year’s intake, the firm doubled the number of female partner appointments to a third of the UK promotions. Creating genuine equality of opportunity is a personal ambition, he says. He has two more years as UK chairman in his current stint and potentially a second term of three years.
- Recent data from executive search consultancy Korn Ferry showed more women are joining the boards of UK FTSE 350 companies as new non-executive directors, but the majority of appointees are still men, while a new report from Grant Thornton International suggested the lack of diversity among corporate board members is having an adverse impact on company performance. Korn Ferry’s research showed that 39% of first-time FTSE 350 non-executive appointees were female last year, up from 28% in 2013 and 11% in 2007. It says the proportion of first-time female appointees with backgrounds in general management and finance increased noticeably, from five in 2013 to 52 in 2014.
- According to EY, the largest, longest-lasting family businesses in the world are moving women further and doing so faster than their non-family counterparts. Why is this important? Because these businesses are the anchors of the world economy. Family businesses as a whole create an estimated 70%-90% of the global GDP and 50%-80% of jobs in the majority of countries worldwide. They employ vast numbers of people, dominate key markets and are intrinsically important to their local communities and global economies - and have been for generations.
- The representation of women on corporate boards continues to increase, but the number of women leading boards still remains low globally. Overall, women now hold 12% of seats worldwide with only 4%chairing boards, according to the fourth edition of the Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective, report by Deloitte Global. The report outlined progress in 49 countries Europe continues to lead on gender diversity in the boardroom, with Norway, France, Sweden, and Italy all ranking high. Regionally, countries in the Americas and Asia Pacific region have progressed the least.
- A majority of women aspire to hold top leadership and board roles, but often find it difficult to see themselves as leaders, according to the new KPMG Women’s Leadership Study. The survey, which polled more than 3,000 professional and college women in the United States, identified confidence building and leadership training, along with the ability to network with women leaders, as key elements to expanding women’s leadership in the years ahead.
- In The Advantages of a Diverse Board, Strategy& argued that when it comes to corporate multiculturalism, it’s the relationship between an ethnically diverse board and its CEO that makes the biggest difference for leading firms.
- PwC published a new CEO Insights post: Let’s face up to the gender gap
- PwC launched its latest Point of View - Female millennials in financial services: strategies for a new era of talent - which is now available for you to preview with clients and available on the Global FS website .
- Taking her seat for her first meeting of the global strategy council of PwC last July, the arrival of Olga Grygier-Siddons, chair for central and eastern Europe, was well timed. Seven of the top 10 countries for female representation among senior executives are in eastern Europe, headed by world leader Russia, where four out of every 10 business leaders are women.
- PwC announced its commitment to the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign. HeForShe is a campaign aimed at mobilising 1 billion men and boys in support of gender equality. Gender equality is one of the most persistent human right violations of our time, according to Dennis Nally. The statistics speak for themselves: even while women make up 60% of college graduates, only 3% of leaders around the world are women. On average, working women earn 10-30% less than men for the same tasks.
- Austerity enacted after the 2008 global financial crisis, often featuring deep cuts in public spending, hurt women more than men and helped to reinforce rising income inequality, the United Nations claimed, in a a report looking at how broad policy measures taken by governments can have unequal and often gender-specific consequences - but don’t have to. Women, who globally earn 24% less than men, struggle for access to better-quality jobs and the valuable benefits often associated with those jobs, such as pensions. Women in all countries also work longer hours than men, if unpaid domestic work is added to paid work.
- The top 10 US companies for diversity in 2015, according to the DiversityInc ranking, are: 1. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, 2. Kaiser Permanente, 3. PwC, 4. EY, 5. Sodexo, 6. MasterCard Worldwide, 7. AT&T, 8. Prudential Financial, 9. Johnson & Johnson and 10. Procter & Gamble.
- For first time, women will lead two of the Big Four in the US, after KPMG announced that Lynne Doughtie will become the firm’s new chief executive and chairman, closely following the election of Cathy Engelbert as Deloitte’s U.S. CEO just a few months ago. Both women have seen their firms transform over the years from workplaces dominated by men to ones that consistently rank high among the country’s best employers for women. Doughtie, who is in charge of KPMG’s consulting practice in the United States, will serve a five-year term when she takes over as CEO and chairman on July 1.
- PwC is playing a leading role in supporting a United Nations (UN) Women campaign to promote gender equality. HeForShe is a solidarity movement that engages men and boys as advocates and stakeholders, to break the silence, raise their voices and take action.
- PwC UK won the Transparency Award at the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards 2015. Opportunity Now is the gender equality initiative from Business in the Community. And we have also been named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015, which lists the organisations leading on workplace gender equality. We are one of a handful of employers to have appeared on this listing since its inception.
- Nora Wu, Vice Chairwoman and Global Human Capital Leader at PwC, explored why diversity is critical for growth and how business leaders can focus on building more diverse and inclusive workforces in this new CEO Insights post. Find out more in : Finding different ways of thinking and working.
- KPMG is lending its voice to one of the most discussed topics in business of the moment - women’s leadership - with glass ceilings literally shattering in in a new TV commercial. The campaign, KPMG’s first in more than a decade, will help promote the inaugural KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit. The marketing push will also include print ads in publications such as Fortune, USA Today and Golf Magazine and a social-media campaign with the hashtag #breakglassceilings.
- EY published This isn’t about “fixing” our women!, a study looking at the return on investing in female-specific leadership development. The aim is to (re)-energise women, encourage them to think differently about what they want from their career and how they will achieve it, and help them develop strategies that will improve their navigation of their organisation.
- A report by Deloitte and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to OECD showed that if women entrepreneurs are to make a greater impact across economies, special policy attention is needed on matters including but not limited to education, and non-discrimination, in areas such as access to finance and property rights.
- The FT's latest Women in Business report found that progress on pay parity for women has stagnated in the past decade - and employers’ secrecy is compounding the problem. Even mandating female representation has done little so far to narrow the gap for many.
- In Are Companies Ready for the Female Talent Explosion?, INSEAD warned that demographic dividends are set to dwindle as the size of working age populations shrinks meaning that further female empowerment is needed for companies to plug the impending talent shortfalls.
- Women today are more career confident and ambitious than any other generation, a new PwC study for International Women's Day shows; 62% said that career progression was the most attractive quality an employer could have. Gaenor Bagley, head of diversity at PwC, said: “Our research shows that we are seeing a new era of female talent with ambitious and highly educated women entering the workforce in larger numbers than any previous generation."
- To mark International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March 2015, PwC released a new report titled The female millennial: A new era of talent. It reveals that female millennials are the most confident and ambitious of any female generation and dispels some significant myths about women and work. Many of our clients and stakeholders have a voice on International Women's Day and expect PwC to do the same so we encourage you to introduce the survey findings to clients as appropriate.
- According to Boston Consulting Group analysis, around the world, women in business have made progress in terms of the rates of their participation in the work force - rising from 54% in 2000 o 57% in 2012 - and their representation as entrepreneurs, climbing from 35% of businesses in 2004 to 41% in 2011.
- Economic policymakers around the world are looking for ways to boost growth, with infrastructure investment topping most lists. But, as Lagarde regularly reminds her audiences, another, often-overlooked remedy is to increase the economic participation and advancement of women. Women account for half of the global labour supply and about 70% of the world’s consumption demand. Yet there remains a long way to go in realising their economic potential, as the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2014 confirmed.
- For the ninth consecutive year, PwC scored a perfect 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. HRC is America’s largest civil rights organisation working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals.Its annual assessment provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their LGBT employee policies and practices. This recognition earns PwC a spot on the Human Rights Campaign "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" list.
- The Financial Times published a special report on executive diversity.
- With the European Parliament proposing to enforce a 40% quota for female non-executive directors on the boards of large listed companies by 2020, EY launched a report that explores the advantages of a diverse board and reveals how boards can empower the professional advancement of women and underrepresented groups.
- Diversity programmes have been around for decades, but most companies still don’t have a highly inclusive workplace. Deloitte research showed that companies want to shift from diversity as a programme to diversity and inclusion as a business strategy. But nearly one-third of companies in the global survey say they are unprepared in this area, while only 19% claim to be fully ready. Nearly all surveyed organisations promote diversity, but most fail to realise the business benefits of a diverse workforce.
- In Diversity that makes everyone seem the same, the FT warned that a wide cross section brings with it the danger of falling within the narrow confines of groupthink.