2021 Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Report - GLF



Industry status

  • The COVID-19 crisis, far from diminishing the DIB agenda for carriers, has reinforced the crucial role that companies need to play in supporting under-represented employees. 87% of survey respondents classed Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (“DIB”) as a strategic or top priority for their company.
  • Gender and race are the DIB axes of greatest focus, with 87% / 78% respectively of companies ranking them as high focus. There is a correlation between companies’ focus and the high visibility of gender and racial diversity within societies.
  • Addressing diversity varies across carriers. For some, it means reaching target representation and inclusion KPIs, whilst for others it means building an environment providing equal opportunities and launching initiatives – GLF members concept of ‘progress’ on diversity is driven by their individual context.
  • Carriers are on their DIB journey, but there is still progress to be made – whilst 43% state that they are diverse in at least one axis of diversity only 17% of respondents believe that they are diverse across both gender and race.
  • CEOs are increasingly accountable for leading DIB initiatives – 30% of the surveyed organisations stated DIB was CEO-led vs 20% in 2020. CEO-led DIB organisations demonstrate broader diversity focus, higher achieved progress, more gender-related initiatives implemented than other companies.

Racial diversity

  • Racial diversity is uniquely complex to define and implement. There are local variations to racial diversity, setting objectives is heavily market-dependent, and addressing racial issues is highly sensitive.
  • Racial diversity is the second most prioritised DIB topics within respondent’s DIB policies, with a score of 4.1/5. 26% of the GLF members believe that they are diverse on race. However, due to differences in how racial diversity is defined and the media / societal focus at a national level, unlike gender there are greater differences between regions in how carriers have responded.
  • On race, the survey respondents increasingly acknowledge the commercial benefits of diversity, perceive less barriers for racial minorities to advance careers & less complexity to implement support policies; 65% respondents perceive progress on racial diversity and 65% implement initiatives.
  • In comparison with gender, less companies are implementing mentoring -39pts, management programs -31pts, and hiring initiatives -18pts. Perceived progress on race is also lower (35% highly or fully diverse on gender vs. 26% highly or fully diverse on race).
  • Companies will need to carefully evaluate their racial diversity execution as a prominent gap between focus and actions could highlight a risk to not deliver up to expectations. Where programs are implemented, they can lead to rapid representation improvements.

Gender diversity

  • Gender diversity tops the DIB agenda across companies. 70% of companies rank it with the highest focus (5/5) because of the size of the issue, the public attention that it has received, and the benefits expected from improved parity.
  • 83% companies report some form of progress on gender-related diversity. Survey respondents increasingly acknowledge the commercial benefits of diversity, perceive less barriers in their organisations for women to advance careers and less complexity to implement policies.
  • Members report substantially more gender-related categories of initiatives implemented to promote gender diversity than in 2020, which fuels the perception of achieved progress. Across selected categories, companies report more mentoring +17pts, management programs +14pts, return to work +5pts, and job sharing +11pts.
  • There is a substantial gap between perceived progress and achieved representation. This is potentially because it takes time to reach equitable representation levels and companies may perceive progress when there is limited representation progress: awareness increases without always resulting in better representation.
  • With 35% of the GLF members believing that they are diverse on gender representation, the journey ahead is long. Survey respondents replied that it will take time to transform: (1) the job deficit remains high for many organisations, (2) job creation is low for the industry; (3) the number
  • of people leaving the workforce due to retirement is low; (4) companies are constrained by limited talent pools.

Delivering progress

  • To create long-term change, companies will need to measure, organise and execute diversity and inclusion programs to drive equitable outcomes. They will need to align on unified measurement definition to assess progress, set the required policies to structure their initiatives. Without measurement and organisation, diversity initiatives will remain disparate, and their impact may not last.
  • On measure, the industry should adopt a minimum set of consistent KPIs to align on diversitydefinition and to be able to compare progress in the future. Beyond measuring consistent KPIs, additional initiatives could include the implementation of voluntary internal sharing of diversity information to be able to build knowledge and the implementation of DIB roadmap to prioritise axes and initiatives.
  • On organise, disparate initiatives should be structured via implementation of policies, especially in larger companies to ensure they become part of the organisational DNA. Another key aspect of organise consists in empowering the executive level to champion diversity and inclusion employee groups ensuring a mandate for prioritisation and execution.
  • On execute, initiatives should seek to improve recruitment, retention, representation, influence. Diverse recruitment panels, mentoring and sponsoring programs for diverse groups have been key initiatives. In addition, companies have launched COVID-19 programs targeting all employees, but which especially benefitted diverse groups. On-going initiative execution is key to increase diversity and inclusion across diversity axes.
  • On communicate, the internal communication gives visibility about DIB to all employees including executives and external communication, especially transparent sharing of workforce data relevant to DIB representation data including pay gaps, have been key for some carriers.

GLF is creating a call to action for its members to support four initiatives:

1. Adopt industry KPIs for measuring diversity,

2. Create an industry network of diversity leaders from their own organisation,

3. Personally serve as champions to ensure the adoption and adherence of policies and processes to enhance diversity,

4. Commit to champion STEM programmes within their own organisations and work together to ensure consistent action within the GLF community.

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