Audeliss Insights Roundup: February 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, new research has found that FTSE 100 companies have scored higher on diversity and inclusion than businesses on the S&P 500 and TSX 60. The FTSE 100 overall high score was based on employee reviews and corporate policies; including race, ethnicity, and gender diversity at executive and board level, as well as DEI programs and policies. Despite this, a high percentage of employees still don’t feel included in the workplace based on negative reviews. 79% of these reviews cited inclusion as the main reason for discontent.

Similarly, research by Kantar shows that organizations are lagging on DEI and employees are taking notice. Kantar’s Inclusion Index found that progress has stalled between 2019 and 2022, and industries have also seen a decline on inclusion. This is creating a huge impact on employee satisfaction and retention. According to the research, employees’ expectations are shifting as they want businesses to go beyond DEI campaigns and cultural days; workers want to see a stronger focus on driving systemic change. Organizations that fail to do so risk losing workers, as an average 30% of respondents said that they are “likely” or “highly likely” to leave their company based on lack of inclusion.

In efforts to address the demand for more inclusive practices, President Biden announced an executive order for all U.S. government agencies to create equity teams and establish DEI steering committees; agencies have 30 days to form an equity team. The legislation will set the nation’s DEI agenda, and transform the future of work. This follows calls from Greg Abbott, Texas Governor, to remove diverse hiring initiatives, stating that such practices should be illegal.

In other news, research has reported a significant rise in daily stress levels for employees. According to the State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report by Gallup, stress among the world’s workers have reached an all-time high, surpassing the levels from 2020. The report also found that while 44% of employees experience stress daily, working women in North America and Asia were among the most stressed employees globally. This is a result of working women still taking on the majority of childcare and domestic responsibilities, and therefore experiencing a higher rate of burnout than men.

In executive search news, when looking for jobs, young candidates expect more DEI efforts when recruiting, and this starts by making job adverts inclusive and transparent. According to a report by Access Generation CIC, the research carried out by young people ages 18-30 years old looked at 570 companies’ job application processes and found that only 7% of businesses address DEI. The research also found that 80% of young people will look at the job section on an employer website to find out more about the employer regardless of where they first saw the job advertised, and a lack of DEI support both on the website and the application process can deter job seekers to apply.

A survey from Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) found that 73% of office workers in London would quit their current jobs if flexible working was taken away. Right now, 95% of jobs in the English capital allow for home working in some capacity. Despite the current economic slowdown and mass redundancies in some organizations, unemployment is very low in London and employees still hold the bargaining chip. Of those who have said that they would leave their job if the option to work from home was taken away, 64% said that an 11 percent or higher pay rise would make them change their minds.

Due to the short supply in candidates, companies are having difficulties filling positions. According to Jonathan Boys, senior labor market economist for the CIPD, organizations need to start considering what they are offering to potential employees, “Pay continues to grow at a slower pace than prices, deepening the cost-of-living crisis. Regular pay growth of 6.7% would normally be a welcome sight for workers but in the face of inflation running at 10.5% this increase won’t stop living standards from falling for most working people. When candidates are in short supply and even bumper pay rises can’t compete with inflation, employers need to consider the whole package they offer to staff.” He advises companies to consider who they’re wanting to attract and design better-quality jobs for them.