Audeliss Insights Roundup: January 2023

Audeliss brings you the latest insights and trends surrounding executive search and diversity, equity, and inclusion in business across the world every month.

In DEI news, the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK has finalized rules that require FTSE-listed companies to disclose information and report targets on the representation of people of color and women on their leadership teams and board of directors. Targets for the rules include: board of directors comprising of 40 percent women, at least one senior board position should be occupied by a woman, and at least one member of the board should be a person of color. Companies that are not able to meet these rules will have to explain why they have not reached these targets.

Although this seems like a positive step in the right direction for diverse representation in the boardroom, there’s still a lot of work to do around more general inclusion in the workplace as the UK government rejected a trial for menopause leave, as well as a recommendation that menopause become a protected characteristic under the Equalities Act. Ministers have cited that the proposals would create discrimination “towards men suffering from long-term medical conditions”. A 2022 survey found that one in ten people working through the menopause had quit their jobs due to symptoms, which include depression, anxiety, and panic attacks that can last up to 15 years.

Management consulting company, McKinsey, is calling for better representation of socio-economic backgrounds in leadership teams in order to boost the economy. In our last insights, we looked at how individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds took longer to progress in organizations. McKinsey is now pushing for the target of 50% of business leaders to come from lower socio-economic backgrounds by 2030, especially since the cost of living crisis will result in the gap widening in the future.

In the U.S., a new report by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability found that employment trends for people with disabilities have exceeded pre-pandemic levels and have reached a historic high. According to the co-author of the report, John O’Neill PhD, this was most likely a result of disproportionate demand for workers due to labor shortages and “the increase in work-from-home arrangements and greater flexibility in work hours.”

In executive search news, Financial-world found that online searches for work from home jobs have increased by 123 percent this month in the UK. The term ‘hybrid roles’ have also reached a five-year high. The increase is attributed to the cost of living crisis and a rise in strikes across the nation.

While demand for flexible working is clearly high, employees across the globe are placing importance in job security when considering their current working situation. According to Randstad’s Workmonitor 2023, 52 percent of employees are worried about the impact of economic uncertainty on their job security and 37 percent are worried about losing their job. The weakening economy is also leading older people to return to work or delaying their retirement due to financial worries.

In the U.S. due to an aging population and demographic shifts, economists are predicting that the labor market will slowdown in 2023. The chief economist at Indeed, Svenja Gudell, foresees the U.S. experiencing a shortage of workers, with hiring becoming challenging in the next few years. With the lack of immigration and focus on attracting workers, the country “simply won’t have enough workers to fill long-term demand for years to come”.

This is not the only trend that is being predicted for this year. Research by Talent Board on candidate experiences found that recruiters need to be focused on onboarding, DEI, and candidate experience. This comes after the report also saw 34 percent of candidates who answered the survey say that they had to wait at least one to two months to hear back from jobs after submitting an application, resulting in high candidate resentment.