Nearly two years on from the BLM protests, companies of all sizes are failing to enact the cultural and operational changes that they promised at the time.
An audit of the FTSE100 by agility firm Agility in Mind found that despite almost all (99 per cent) having an inclusive mission statement, less than half (48 per cent) have only one or fewer positive DEI initiatives.
In fact, only 4 per cent of companies offer a substantial neurodiversity initiative, according to the research that was shared exclusively with City A.M.
Companies with the most DEI initiatives include ITV, Admiral, Sainsbury’s, Autotrader Group, Centrica, BT Group, Coca Cola, Burberry, Aveva and Angle American.
The news comes as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced last week requirements for listed companies to report against targets for female and ethnic minority representation on boards and in exec management.
And with good reason; the audit exposes that the FTSE100 companies which are performing worst in terms of DEI are also the ones with the lowest Glassdoor scores – of the 16 companies with a score of 3.5 or less, 13 offer no DEI initiatives.
One in three business leaders believe a lack of knowledge regarding diversity initiatives’ importance holds them back from having the desired impact.
Over a quarter believe a lack of awareness regarding how companywide change can be implemented is the key reason behind the mixed success.
“Building a truly diverse and inclusive culture is laden with challenges, but our audit reveals that many well-intentioned leaders have pledges and goals to reach it,” said Michelle Meakin, business services director at Agility in Mind.
She told City A.M. this morning that “what we are seeing is that most are struggling to enact the type of top-down organisational change that is required to be successful – and that the pace of real action even amongst public-facing companies is very slow.”
Business leaders appear to have an appetite for further change, with a third of those surveyed saying that more training for managers would help to improve the effectiveness of DEI policies. This rises to nearly two in five in larger organisations of over 500 employees.