• Melissa Buckley

All Eyes on Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity

2020 was an unprecedented year for many reasons. One of which, was the rapid return of business practices Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DE&I).


Society’s response to multiple polarising social and political events has spilled over into the place we spend the most time at – work.


If ESG was running for office, DE&I would be its running mate. Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity is now a defining aspect of the overarching framework of ESG. As its name suggests, it refers to a company’s human resources.


It’s not a new concept, it’s existed since 1968 but its progress has been until recent years, slow.


Recently I attended a Perth networking panel event that focused on diversity, equity and inclusivity called ‘Moving Forward in a Diverse Community’ that was held at the Flour Factory on October 27th, 2021.


The panel featured:

  • Host Toto Boutdara, a designer and non-executive director of four companies.

  • Whadjuk Ballardong Nyoongar lady, Lorraine Pryor, a mining industry employee.

  • Economist and workplace consultant Conrad Liveris.

  • Workplace consultant Ali Local.

All are Western Australians who had insights to share about where Perth, WA and Australia stand in the quest for true DE&I progression.


Each spoke of their personal experiences and observations with DE&I.

Being part of Perth’s local workforce enabled them to share their opinions and advice on implementing DE&I with true relevance.


The key takeaways I gleaned from the event are featured below in the form of an infographic ebook PDF available for download, for both management and employees’ point of view.

Making the Change ebook
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.14MB

These are the crucial steps to tearing down your old structures and building them back up again in favour of your employees and businesses long-term future.


This event was created in response to all the promises we’ve heard made by the C-Suite at large who wax lyrical about the changes they intend to make in respective workplaces.


So that begs the question,

  • Just how much change has been made?

  • What has been successful?

  • What methods turned out to be duds?

The event was timely, as it comes on the heels of last year’s Mercer report.


Below are two key infographics that break down the statistics from the report on the website Consultancy. Both Mercer and Consultancy provide a comparison breakdown of Australia’s statistics on ESG and more specifically DE&I to the rest of the world as of October 2020.

Breakdown of the Mercer report on ESG and DEI statistics
Figure 1 Consultancy.com.au ESG statistics

Breakdown of Mercer report on ESG and DEI specifics
Figure 2 Consultancy.com.au ESG statistics

The above facts and figures illustrate why the fires of ESG and DE&I must be stoked.

This is why ESG and DE&I need to become part of boardroom conversations globally.

For ASX listed companies, implementing both ESG and DE&I are imperative measures as part of a business’s operations.


For discerning investors, it’s an essential metric for their investing strategies.


Companies that incorporate both practices into businesses are proving to be better investment performers than their competitors who refrain.


Committing to and being an outcome focused company rates a higher ESG score allocated by credit analysts than those who perform superficial checkbox ticking exercises. Credit analysts use a variety of research methods to compile their score and recommendations including investing into companies themselves.


Creating a façade of introducing the ‘right’ policies in a business, short-changes workers by avoiding the forming of real commitments to them and the environment and short-changes you as an investor.


How do investors feel about ESG/DE&I focused investments?


The Schroders investor information website conducted research (which I have chosen some key insights from) about how investors worldwide currently view ESG in ASX companies.



Schroders sampled 23,000 investors living in 32 different locations and these statistics show a cross-section of the investment space.


The sentiment is positive, and it will be interesting to see an update next year.


For more expert advice on creating an ESG and DE&I positive workplace, please check out these websites:

The business practices of ESG and DE&I are sure to evolve, affecting the investing space, stay abreast of changes as they happen on Samso Insights.

Disclaimer


ASX companies engage Samso to share their commentary on the progress of their companies and projects. The author, owners of Samso and associated entities may or may not hold shares of these companies. The content above is the writer’s personal opinion and is provided to you for information only and is not intended to be general or personal advice nor will it create/induce the creation of any binding legal relations. Read full Disclaimer.