India Diversity Forum: Gap between Intent and Action, unveils India Diversity Forum’s first D&I survey

Sponsored and supported by top leaders, diversity and inclusion is a board-level agenda in many companies, but only 42% of companies surveyed in India Diversity Forum’s inaugural D&I survey have a written D&I policy. While 93% of companies agree they have been proactive in encouraging the hiring of women at all levels, only 44% have hired at least 33% women in the past three years.

Even as D&I is increasingly becoming a talking point at India Inc, the gap between intention and action has surfaced in India Diversity Forum’s survey of 51 companies, an independent industry association formed to create awareness and issues on D&I on one platform bring together. The poll shared with ET is part of the run-up to Wednesday’s India Diversity Conclave.

Most companies hired a higher percentage of women than women in the workforce in FY21, the survey found. However, nearly half of the companies surveyed hired fewer than 20% women on campus in FY21.

93% of companies consider themselves equal opportunity employers, but the reality seems to be different. Similarly, 66% of respondents agree that opportunities for people with disabilities (PWD) are increasing, however representation of PWD is still very low as 60% of cos polled have no PWD representation.

While 54% of businesses welcome the LGBTQ+ community, only 39% of businesses are taking proactive steps to raise awareness, according to the survey. Representation of the LGBTQ+ community is weak among the companies surveyed.

In contrast to 88% who themselves agree that they do not discriminate against employees based on “age”, only 22% of companies hire at least 5% of employees over the age of 50.

76% of companies agreed that adopting D&I has resulted in business improvements and that D&I has a positive impact on business performance and reputation. The majority of companies felt that their D&I programs are on track to achieve the desired results.

“D&I goes beyond policies, programs, workforce numbers and statistics. It’s about creating an atmosphere in a workplace where everyone feels valued, engaged and motivated to work and perform. A D&I survey like this allows companies to track how far they’ve traveled in their D&I journeys and compare themselves to the best in class. It helps companies identify specific areas for improvement, said Ankit Bansal, CEO and Founder of Sapphire Human Solutions and Advisory Board Member of India Diversity Forum.

“Over the next decade, how organizations attract, retain and hire talent will be a key indicator of their growth and success. At Max Life Insurance, gender equality is the cornerstone of our brand vision and a critical pillar in expanding our talent footprint. The IDC survey highlights the important aspects such as women’s empowerment, support for the LGBTQ+ community and employee well-being that are essential to any organization’s future roadmap,” said Irani Srivastava Roy, EVP & Head HR – Distribution & D&I, Max Life Insurance India Diversity Forum: Gap between Intent and Action, unveils India Diversity Forum’s first D&I survey

Russell Falcon

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