A recent survey conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) reveals that diversity and inclusion are significant factors for nearly three-quarters of finance professionals worldwide when considering their next employer.
Out of the 9,889 finance professionals surveyed, a substantial 73% expressed that a robust culture of diversity and inclusivity would heavily influence their decision to join an organization.
Thereport emphasizes the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusivity practices (EDI) within the overall employee proposition, highlighting their pivotal role in attracting and retaining talent. It suggests that organizations need to prioritize EDI initiatives to enhance their appeal to potential employees and foster a desire among existing staff to remain with the company.
Although 58% of respondents believe their organizations are inclusive, there’s room for improvement, with 41% indicating that their employers focus primarily on specific aspects of diversity, potentially neglecting others. Concerns were raised that existing initiatives might disproportionately emphasize certain facets such as gender,ACCA Report Highlights Importance of Equity and Inclusivity Practices at the expense of other dimensions like age or neurodiversity, which could contribute significantly to creativity and innovation.
She suggests that organizations excelling in EDI practices have an opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Jillian Couse, Head of ACCA North America, notes that in the current competitive landscape, where talent retention is challenging due to a shortage of skilled professionals, the findings on EDI offer a strategic advantage for employers. She suggests that organizations excelling in EDI practices have an opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors.
To enhance EDI within their organizations, respondents recommended several key actions. These include eliminating biased hiring practices such as nepotism and prioritizing skills and merit over personal affiliations. Additionally, there is a call for training managers to recognize and address microaggressions and unconscious biases, while also tackling toxic work cultures.
Leadership is identified as pivotal in driving EDI initiatives forward, with respondents advocating for leaders to actively demonstrate their commitment to EDI through both words and actions. Furthermore, organizations are encouraged to set goals for inclusive representation at leadership levels and actively recruit and develop members of underrepresented groups into leadership pipelines.