Companies across the world spent an estimated $7.5 billion on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)-related efforts in 2020, and this figure is projected to more than double to $15.4 billion by 2026.
There is positive intent and increased discussion and activity, yet progress is slow. It will take another 151 years to close the global economic gender gap at all levels at the current rate of progress, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report.
Meanwhile, data is still too sparse to systematically estimate global gaps for racial equity and LGBTQIA+ and disability inclusion, which presents a challenge in itself.
To bring faster change, there is a need for greater clarity on what works – and what does not.
The Global Parity Alliance (GPA) – a cross-industry group committed to advancing DEI, launched in 2022 by the Forum in collaboration with McKinsey & Company – set up the DEI Lighthouse Programme to identify initiatives that have driven significant, quantifiable, scalable and sustainable impact, and identify what those initiatives have in common.
The ambition is to equip leaders with these best practices, focusing DEI efforts on what works best and ultimately contributing to faster, scalable impact across the global business community.
The recently-published Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023 report lays out the common success factors that emerged from the DEI Lighthouse Programme and shares eight case studies of initiatives that were selected by an expert panel to become the first cohort of DEI Lighthouses.
The eight selected initiatives were developed and implemented by EY, Limak, PwC UK, Randstad, Schneider Electric, Shiseido, Tata Steel and Walmart.
The report further highlights innovative design and execution approaches from seven additional initiatives by Boston Consulting Group, Bridgewater Associates, Cisco, Regeneron, McKinsey & Company, Nokia and Salesforce.
Five success factors common among DEI initiatives
While the state of DEI efforts varies by company, industry and geography, a growing number of management teams recognize the importance and urgency of leading conversations within their organizations and taking action to drive progress.
The DEI Lighthouse Programme identified five success factors common across the initiatives that yielded the most significant, scalable, quantifiable and sustained impact for underrepresented groups. READ MORE
by Kweilin Ellingrud, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; Silja Baller, Head of Mission, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice, World Economic Forum
“My biggest mistake is not recognizing the power of compounding and the ability for it to build wealth, and therefore, not investing early enough,” she says. “To me, if there is one thing that can change our society, our economy, and the world, it is getting more money in the hands of women.
Indigenous Americans make up less than 1% of board members for major, publicly traded businesses, according to DiversIQ analysis. Only five people among the 5,537 board members for the S&P 500 identify as fully or partially American Indian or Alaska Native.
These three questions can not only play a pivotal role in strengthening an organization’s DEI culture; they can also serve as team-building exercise. The process of evaluating one’s understanding of DEI principles promotes open discussions, knowledge sharing, and alignment within the team.