SEATTLE, July 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Understanding the connection between concrete business outcomes and workplace equity is critical for boards of directors. But a new report released by Syndio and Tapestry Networks, “Advancing Workplace Equity from the Boardroom,” finds most boards unsatisfied with their own progress despite believing in the power of workplace equity. This leads to dangerous resource gaps: An impressive 90% of companies set workplace equity goals, but just 25% of leaders believe they possess the necessary budget and headcount to achieve those goals.
“Companies today are more conscious than ever of the importance of focusing on business moves that have direct impact on reputation, growth, and the bottom line,” said Maria Colacurcio, CEO of Syndio. “Workplace equity is a strategic advantage that organizations cannot afford to overlook. In Syndio’s experience, boards are often our strongest allies when we harness the promise of workplace equity with advanced analytics. It’s proof they can be a force driving adoption of workplace equity and the business benefits it accrues. Now is the perfect time to sharpen that trajectory.”
The report underscores the need for enhanced board commitment and maturity in overseeing workplace equity. While some organizations fully integrate workplace equity into their business strategy and operations, others lack clear targets, meaningful accountability, robust metrics, reporting structures, or effective alignment with business objectives. As one Director put it in the report: “We can’t lose sight of the business aspect of this, because where a lot of companies fall short is that ‘this is a nice thing to do’ versus a business imperative that actually drives better results. How do you get to the place where, just as we look at profit-and-loss statements on a daily and a weekly basis and follow sales like a hawk, we create an environment where this is woven into the fabric of the discussions that we have on a daily basis?”
Based on extensive analysis of workplace data, Syndio recommends the following key metrics to guide board level action on workplace equity:
- Representation – analyzing gender and race/ethnicity across departments or teams.
- Promotion – assessing the average time to promotion.
- Attrition – identifying and addressing retention gaps.
- Pay Equity – examining unadjusted pay gaps.
- Benchmarking – determining the time and budget required to achieve workforce goals.
- The relationship of all of the above and the strength of the business in the near term and long term.
“This report underscores boards’ commitment to the value of workplace equity, and also their discomfort with the pace of progress,” said Marsha Ershaghi Hames, Partner, Tapestry Networks. “Our study highlighted the need for equity, diversity and inclusion to be aligned with broader organizational objectives, rather than undertaken in isolation.”
“Advancing Workplace Equity from the Boardroom” combines insights from directors and boardroom executives representing 35 public companies. The result is a candid and comprehensive analysis of the challenges faced in achieving effective board oversight of workplace equity. The full report can be downloaded here.