Audeliss Insights Roundup: October 2022

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, business psychology consultancy Pearn Kandola has released a new Racism at Work report which found that not a lot of progress has been made in the workplace for racial equality since 2018. The study revealed that 61 percent of Black employees have experienced racism at work, and despite the upsurge of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, organizations are still lacking when it comes to promoting racial equality. Out of 52 percent of people that have witnessed racism in the workplace, 31 percent of respondents cited “it wasn’t my business” as a reason for not taking action. Suki Sandhu, Audeliss’ founder and CEO, spoke about how it’s up to leaders to implement training and workshops to educate employees on how to speak out against racism at work: “Education and action must be encouraged and driven by a top-down approach from executive level […] The only way to ensure real change is for it to start at the top.”

Education is indeed the catalyst for eradicating these incidents in the workplace, however preliminary findings from an upcoming research by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Boston College School of Social Work found that 63 percent of respondents said that their organization “allocated little to no resources to DE&I”, despite 65 percent of organizations saying that DEI is important. Additionally, 25 to 28 percent of organizations stated that their employees have experienced bias in the last two years, including racial, age, and gender bias.

Looking at these trends, it’s evident why people, particularly women, are changing jobs. According to McKinsey and LeanIn.Org’s Women in the Workplace 2022 report, women leaders are switching jobs at record rates, citing microaggressions and unrecognized work in DEI as one of the main reasons for them leaving. Another reason listed is the difficulty women have progressing into senior-level roles; starting at management roles, for every 100 men who get promoted, only 87 women, and 82 women of color, progress. When they do move on to management roles, women are finding that implications that they aren’t qualified to do senior-level jobs by colleagues, combined with personal characteristics such as their gender or being a parent, are playing a role in them being denied a promotion.

Meanwhile in Europe, companies are following the footsteps of new regulations from the U.S. to increase transparency around wages. 86 percent of organizations are planning or have already communicated to their employees how base pay and variable pay opportunities are determined. ESG agendas and rise in regulatory requirements are the reason why companies are becoming more transparent with their employees. However, these organizations are also seeing a drop in pay negotiation and a rise in questions from existing employees around pay equity.

In executive search news, 21 UK employers, including Grant Thornton, Experian, and Rolls Royce, have signed an open letter by Working Families that asked for flexible working options to become default practice in the UK, instead of a perk companies offer to candidates. Since the pandemic, organizations are now seeing the value of flexible work, enabling employees to take control of their work life, and allowing companies to attract and retain talent from wider pools. Furthermore, research ordered by Working Families found that 82 percent of parents in the UK are more likely to apply for a job if flexible working is listed in the job advert.

In the U.S., New York City is restricting the use of artificial intelligence (AI) during the recruitment process in order to eradicate bias in the algorithm. From next year, organizations must audit any automated tools used in the decision-making process of hiring and promoting employees, and they must notify those affected up to 10 business days before it’s used. Lack of doing so can result in a $500 penalty for first offence and $1,500 for any additional violation.

Back in the UK, according to data from Visier, despite 46 percent of employees wanting to change jobs, over 80 percent are planning to stick with their current employers as recession looms. 67 percent of workers cite concerns over job security in a new organization, fearing a ‘last hired, first fired’ mentality in companies as the main reason why they do not want to leave. This is resulting in ‘Quiet Quitting’ among employees that are unhappy but unable to leave their companies.