Survey finds promoting women to be a business priority

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New research from HR Leaders by Equilar and the HR Policy Association shows more businesses are setting targets to increase gender equity

2022 is emerging as the year where more companies are focused on diversifying management teams, with an overall drive to increase diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), according to a survey of HR Leaders by Equilar and the HR Policy Association

The survey shared the opinions of CHROs at surveyed organisations, to show the varied methods companies use to drive employee engagement and diversity initiatives.

“Companies are making diversity and inclusion a top priority for 2022,” said Ani Huang, President and CEO of HR Policy Association’s Center On Executive Compensation. “The survey results show that most companies aim for rigorous diversity goals, even if they don’t necessarily tie those targets to pay.”

To achieve a diverse workplace and leadership teams, the survey indicated that companies are setting aspirational targets to promote and hire a broad range of underrepresented employees. 

“The joint survey provides more granular data on how companies are addressing these critical issues,” said David Chun, CEO and Founder at Equilar. “The insights shared by CHROs at surveyed organisations show the varied methods companies use to drive employee engagement and diversity initiatives, the importance of ESG and candid thoughts on tying ESG metrics to compensation.”

What were the key findings of the survey? 

The survey collected responses from May 2022, covering topics such as ESG and human capital management (HCM) practices. The main findings were: 

  • Increasing the number of women and people of colour in management
    • To increase the number of women and people of colour in leadership positions, many companies set specific percentage targets, with 71.4% focused on women and 62.5% on people of colour.
  • Pay gap analysis
    • Results show that regular pay gap analyses are becoming a standard, with 71.9% of participants reporting performing pay gap analyses periodically, either annually or otherwise.
  • Employee engagement surveys focus on DEI
    • Results of employee engagement surveys – completed by 90% of participants – found that 87% of respondents focused on DEI topics. In contrast, 81.5% focused on current business and operational issues, and 79.4% highlighted mental health and wellbeing.
  • Senior leadership responsibility 
    • A high level of respondents felt that tying executive compensation to ESG issues was at least moderately important, with some going as far to say it was very important. In their reasoning, respondents cited accountability, focus and the importance of measuring in order to make progress. 

Please find the full survey here.


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