The biggest trend in the DEI space for 2022 is an acceptance by companies that the most effective avenue to increasing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) in the workplace is through taking an holistic approach. 

What does this actually mean? Your business is crafted uniquely to its mission, illuminating to your clients like an art piece, and your mission is supported by its talent, representing the company’s vision and values. It would make sense that each thread of your business, while interconnected and holding each other strong through accountability, is distinct, present and acknowledged. A business cannot be successful without active and engaged customers, and these customers need to feel like they can freely express their needs and wants. This can only be achieved through sustaining diverse talent who represent your customers. This talent must also be able to understand and actively participate in the company’s daily operations, drive change, and disrupt the status quo. 

For those who are new to the scene of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), it’s important to know that previously it was thought the best way to increase DEI within a company was to work exclusively on hiring “diverse” talent. And diverse talent really depended on the company’s understanding of their ideal version of diversity. 

 

But what is diversity and how does a company attract such talent, involve them in major decision making and keep that talent? These have been the recurring difficulties in this space and we haven’t even touched the issues of getting these diverse people the same, if not tailored, aid necessary to put them in the same level of those who have traditionally been privileged enough to easily access these spaces. 

Diversity isthe presence of differences that can include many different combinations, including but not limited to, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, and/or political perspective. Many companies of the past have been looking solely for physical representation, hiring people who look different within the organization. However, while they have good intentions, this is a problematic process and not a sustainable corporate practice.  

Mercer’s podcast, features DEI  experts who discuss staying ahead of the curve by embracing transformation, explore new ways of working, and reinvent their employee experience.

During this discussion, Diego Ramirez, Global Health and Benefits Equity Consultant,  pointed to the shift in DEI transformation for companies, highlighting the driving forces behind this shift. 

The 2022 DEI trend is a shift towards global strategies and frameworks that are being framed around local regulations and focusing on holistic deployments, and planned funding strategies. 

Ok, this sounds good and all, but what are the objectives and goals for DEI? Do CSR goals include diversity, equity, and inclusion? 

Globally, there has been an increase in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) requirements, United States regulations, and European (EU) directives that are providing legal frameworks for equal pay and transparency. Most global companies are aligning their CSR goals with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Source: UN in collaboration with Project Everyone
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In general, due to COVID and the ongoing fight against the pandemic, companies have been shifting their goals and objectives and redefining their values and missions. There has been an increase in the public’s demand for transparent Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) statements and actions. All of these factors are major driving forces for companies seeking to create DEI strategies and/or shift their current labor relationships. 

Source: UN.Org Sustainable Development
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Leading to Pay and career Equity being major drivers in the 2022 DEI trends, looking at hiring, retention and promotion. They are doing this in the context of working either hybrid or 100% remote. The main objectives are flexibility, work life balance, and/or equitable pay. But even companies, who are highly specialized and/or high performers,  are struggling to keep up with pay equity for the long term for the diverse talent pool, 

 

Pay and career equity is a growing topic in 2022 because there is an increasing number of legislation on the subject putting pressure on companies to provide equal, equitable opportunities and fair pay. 

 

Legislation at Play:

    • In the United States, 
      • In April 2022, Mississippi became the last state to enact its own Equal Pay Act.
      • March 15, 2022, the Biden administration announced commitments to advance pay equity. 
      • Starting March 31, 2021, California requires gender, race, and ethnicity reporting to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).
      • Effectively January 1, 2021, Colorado’s Senate Bill 19-085,  became third U.S. state to offer Safe Harbor protections for employers making good faith efforts to fix pay inequities.
        • The law covers both gender and race pay equity and addresses systemic issues of pay equity like salary history. 
      • In France, Under Act N°. 2018-771, effective January 1, 2019, employers measure wage inequality between men and women based on a number of factors. Employers had three years, 2022, to comply, after which point they will be  subject to a fine. Syndio- State of Pay Equity Laws
      • In Canada, six provinces have pay equity laws in place.
        • Ontario companies must submit an annual report to the Pay Equity Office for a Review Officer to assess their pay equity; failure can result in fines.
      • In the United Kingdom,
        • The detailed rules governing gender pay gap reporting have been updated as of February 2022. Not much has been changed but calls for regulations are increasing. 
          • Changed the page title from ‘Gender pay gap reporting’ to ‘Gender pay gap reporting: guidance for employers’.
          • Deadline was extended for reporting. Gov.UK

Look Here for Further information on Equal Pay Laws in United States: Mercer

 

DEI will continue to evolve and grow and it is important to stay in touch with the market, labor market developments and the social and political factors of your community and the communities where you do business. 

 

Continued Learning:

      • See the June 2020 MBS Intelligence Report:  Diversity and Inclusion in UK Retail
      • See the Equal Pay Trends 2022 in the United States, SeyfarthBlog
      • Check out the podcast provided by Mercer, Transforming for the Future,where DEI  experts discuss staying ahead of the curve by embracing transformation, exploring new ways of working, and reinventing their employee experience.
      • You can also check Culture Amp’s Diversity Equity, and Inclusion Report:  Understanding DEI landscape to learn more about the current trends and insights of DEI in the market as of 2022. 
      • UN Video on SDG 5 & Pay Equality:  Here

By Leslee “Les” Williams, July 2022

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) can unlock your company’s potential. That is why many companies are focusing on their journey whether it has just begun or is already well underway. Remember, it is not a goal but an ongoing process.

Be mindful that you can be a diverse organization and be proud of it, but not be equitable, and definitely not inclusive. A DEI assessment can help you figure out exactly where you stand and DEI & You Consulting can assist you in this process in order to establish a strategy to become an equitable and inclusive company.

Contact us to know more about our consulting services or our workshops: deiandyou.com

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leslee “Les” Williams is the DEI Director Of Design & Strategy of DEI & You Consulting.

Les has a passion for helping companies reach their DEI goals whilst creating sustainable business practices. Their passion for DEI is stemmed from their personal pursuit for human & environmental rights.

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