01 Apr Why now is the right time to refresh your EDI strategy?
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Why now is the right time to refresh your EDI strategy?
Effective strategies take time to evolve and deliver the anticipated results – now is the time to start revising your equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy to ensure it’s fit for purpose in a post-pandemic context. Here are some reasons why:
Taking stock in unfamiliar environments
The saying goes that ‘nothing good happens inside your comfort zone’ – the current climate is anything but comfortable – so perhaps this is the perfect time for organisations to assess the way that they navigate the challenges of equality, diversity and inclusion.
Innovation is often seen as an output of effective EDI activities, however innovating the way that EDI is handled within organisations. It’s evident that organisations with a track record of effective EDI activities will see the benefits of this approach following the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Where companies were not necessarily ready for the pandemic, companies must be prepared to acknowledge any gaps and provide assurances for how these gaps will be filled going forward.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting has been postponed
The Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have decided to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting (GPG) requirement for this year (2019/20). This essentially means that there is no expectation from the government for companies to file GPG reports this year – however, staff (both current and prospective) will expect companies to continue to be vocal on providing an indication of what they are doing to identify and address any inequalities – the GPG is just one aspect of this.
Over the last few years employees have grown accustomed to seeing companies report on their gender pay gaps, their action plans to resolve it and other equality related information. In a post-pandemic environment, with staff having faced redundancies, gaps in employment and general uncertainty, employees will be looking for more reassurance that their employers can meet their expectations, which increasingly includes an expectation that they will be treated fairly regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability or any other protected characteristic.
Covid-19 could exacerbate EDI issues
During this pandemic organisations will have been challenged with an indication of how well they truly know their employees. Proactive companies will have been equipped to understand which of their employees were most vulnerable, those that had caring responsibilities, those that were at risk of suffering from mental health issues (which would have been exacerbated by mandatory isolation).
Where employees have historically felt isolated and found it difficult to relate to their colleagues even prior to Covid-19, working remotely can potentially push people further into feeling that they don’t belong and can put them on a quest to find a new challenge outside of their current company.
A well considered EDI strategy will ensure that your organisation has a robust approach to ensuring that all members of staff feel included in what the organisation is doing and the company’s direction of travel. Now more than ever, employees will be looking to employers for reassurance that they are well equipped to look after heir physical, mental and emotional well being – a robust EDI strategy is a great starting point.
The Equal Group has put together an EDI Strategy Development Guide – click here to download it and start your EDI journey today!