This four-part series is brought to you by the letter ‘S’ in ESG — diving into what social impact means for companies, how focusing on workplace equity can help deliver on the ‘S’, how it is critical for business impact, software solutions for ESG reporting, and how to communicate it internally and publicly.
In our first post in our series on the ‘S’ in ESG, we laid out all the pressures bearing down on companies to disclose social impact metrics and all the reasons why it’s ultimately good for the bottom line. Our next post covered why workplace equity metrics are a solid starting point for ‘S’ reporting, as well as highlighting the top workplace equity metrics for companies to consider reporting.
However disclosure should not be simply for the sake of sharing the metrics themselves, but rather to reflect the efforts being made to actually improve outcomes.
A 2021 Josh Bersin report called Elevating Equity: The Real Story of Diversity and Inclusion found that, when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, “Roughly 80% of companies are just going through the motions and not holding themselves accountable.” Bersin goes on to say, “It’s not enough to publish your diversity metrics: you have to make equity goals as important as your financial, legal, and other business outcomes.”
But it’s not easy. Remember this list of 9 workplace equity metrics for reporting on the ‘S’ in ESG from our last post? The chart below shows how equitable actions ladder up to those key metrics that stakeholders are demanding to see.
Source: Syndio’s Guide to Workplace Equity: How to achieve your business outcomes and DE&I goals by analyzing equity
That’s a lot of moving pieces! It can be difficult for companies to find a clear path from A to B to C, connecting the dots between their workplace equity aspirations, their day-to-day compensation, hiring, and promotion processes and decisions, and improved outcomes. Workplace equity efforts — because they span distinct functions and teams including compensation, talent development, recruitment, legal compliance, culture, communications, and more — are often siloed and disjointed, making it challenging to prioritize investments and align initiatives. And, lack of centralized data insights makes it difficult to set realistic, measurable goals and track progress over time.
Thankfully, a new category of technology solutions — known as workplace equity software — has arisen to help with these challenges.
What is workplace equity software?
Success in workplace equity is driven by two things: equal pay for equal work and equal access to opportunities. To get these right, companies must ensure they’re hiring, compensating, supporting, and advancing employees based on what they have to offer — not their gender, race, or other factors. A company that succeeds at improving both opportunity equity and pay equity will ultimately increase diversity at every level of the organization, reduce pay gaps, and improve social-related ESG metrics.
Workplace equity software modernizes analyses that were once manual, siloed, and complex — automating, connecting, and simplifying them. This creates efficiencies that empower enterprise organizations to speed up progress around social impact metrics such as pay and opportunity equity.
Syndio’s leading Workplace Equity Platform helps companies measure, prioritize, improve, and report on all facets of workplace equity. By serving as the central foundation for a proactive, preventive approach, it can help organizations achieve:
- Equitable representation: Analyze the current makeup of your company and benchmark against available talent across all departments, levels, and locations, so you can set and report on meaningful diversity goals.
- Equitable access to opportunities: Identify statistically significant inequities in hiring, promotions, performance assessments, and retention, so you can improve equity overall and prioritize your biggest areas of opportunity for increasing diversity over time.
- Equitable compensation: Identify pay disparities due to gender, race, or any other demographic and address them at key moments in your compensation cycle using remediation recommendations
- Equitable starting pay: Provide your hiring teams with real-time insights into what salaries are fair and competitive for every candidate, interrupting potential bias, guiding pay decisions, and stopping pay disparities before they start.
However, workplace equity is not one-size-fits-all. That’s why in addition to our software, Syndio provides expert support and consulting covering statistical analyses, labor economics, legal best practices, and communications approaches for areas such as ESG reporting.
Connecting the dots between data and day-to-day progress
Every day, employment decisions are made across your company, such as choosing a candidate for a job offer, setting the starting salary for a new hire, rating an employee’s job performance, endorsing an employee for a promotion, and more. The sum of all of these daily employment decisions spread out across multiple teams and individuals nudges the needle towards either a more or less equitable workplace — ultimately driving your most important and visible social metrics, including adjusted and unadjusted pay gaps and diversity overall and in leadership.
If you don’t address the root case of inequitable starting pay, advancements, raises, or promotions, these daily decisions will continue to contribute to growing inequity over time rather than tangible progress. That’s where workplace equity software comes in.
A Workplace Equity Platform can help connect the dots between data, actions, and impact to reveal the bigger picture of progress at your company.
By serving as the centerpiece of a workplace equity program, a Workplace Equity Platform provides a line of sight between the various teams that are being pulled together to contribute to and impact equitable outcomes. Having a central, holistic view of workplace equity at your organization allows you to prioritize investments in the areas of highest opportunity, measure their impact, and support shared accountability in a way that helps you make lasting change.
You’ll also be able to easily report on pay equity metrics, pay gaps, overall representation, leadership diversity, progress over time, and corrective actions you are taking. The software makes it easier to prove your company’s commitment to equity and diversity by sharing data-backed goals and achievements with executive stakeholders, employees, investors, boards, and the public, including for ESG reporting.
Up next: How to communicate effectively about ESG progress
“In the era of workplace equity, companies will no longer be able to simply say their employees are their most valuable assets. They’ll have to prove it — to employees, investors, regulators, and themselves.”
Maria Colacurcio, Syndio CEO
The next step after measurement is transparency — showing your work to investors, employees, regulators, and the public. In our fourth and final post in this series, we showcase several companies that are reporting on ESG goals and outcomes with clear, compelling communications.
Did you miss previous posts in our series on the ‘S’ in ESG? Check them out here:
Part 1: Why Investing in and Reporting on the ‘S’ in ESG is Good for Business.
Part 2: The Top Workplace Equity Metrics to Use for Reporting on the ‘S’ In ESG