Issue 10 2022

Only one-third (36%) of HR professionals think their organisation’s DEI budget is high enough UK employers are strongly committed to principles of diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) – but this commitment is not always backed up with a dedicated budget, XpertHR research reveals. DEI is a core part of the HR agenda in 2022, with 96% of organisations undertaking initiatives over the coming 12months and84%havinga strategy inplace or planning to introduce one. However, only 38% of organisations allocate or plan to allocate a budget specifically for DEI initiatives. Of these, just 36% consider their current or planned DEI budget sufficient. The high costs associated with DEI training and other activities are a commonly cited factor for those who think their DEI budget is set too low. Among the minority of survey respondents giving details of the typical DEI budget allocation, around half were set at £50 or less per employee per year. The main areas of focus for DEI activities over the coming 12 months are mental health (78%) and race/ethnicity (72%). These are followed by disability, gender and LGBTQ+, each mentioned by just over 60%. The most popular current and planned actions are raising awarenessofmental healthandwellbeing issuesandassociated resources (90%), embedding DEI into the recruitment processes (89%), and raising awareness of unconscious bias (76%). The most common ways employers are integrating DEI into the recruitment process are by ensuring there is more than one person on every interview panel (75%) and making selection decisions against an objective measure of the candidate’s ability and potential (72%). Michael Carty, benchmarking editor at XpertHR, comments: “UK employers do not lack intent when it comes to diversity, equality and inclusion – but too many lack the necessary budgetary resource to deliver in full on their DEI agenda. This means that ambitions for DEI initiatives, particularly for training, often outstrip the financial resources available. “DEI is such an important issue on so many levels. Employers’ efforts toprovide trainingandother initiatives canmakea key difference to both employee experience and organisational reputation. How HR handles DEI can be a key differentiator for retaining current employees and attracting new ones.” Zara Nanu MBE, CEO and founder of Gapsquare, part of XpertHR, comments: “It is promising that so many organisations have diversity, equality and inclusion initiatives planned for the next 12 months. Global CHROs are making DEI a key area of focus, and it’s important executives secure the right level of investment for this agenda. “Relevant investment and prioritisation will ensure organisations are not undertaking DEI initiatives as just a tick box exercise. Investing resources, as well as more time and thought into DEI strategies, will help organisations create tangible differences in the workplace.” Just 38% of UK organisations have a budget for diversity, equality and inclusion initiatives, finds XpertHR New CEMS report sets out recommendations for globally responsible business leaders, educators and young professionals Reliance on a wise ‘guru’ leader or ‘hero CEO’ endangers progress in tackling the environmental crisis by shifting responsibility, according to a new report from CEMS. Instead, all leadersneed toadopt acorporatecultureof ‘collective’ responsibility, empowering all employees to make decisions with a generational outlook if real change is to take place. The new report – Leading for the Future of Our Planet - builds on findings from a CEMS survey of 4,206 professionals across 75 countries revealing that the environment is the single greatest concern facing modern-day business leaders, overtaking technological advancement. It features in-depth insights and recommendations from a range of experts across the CEMS Global Alliance in Management Education (the consortium of leading students, business schools, alumni, companies and non-profits from across the world). Highlights include: • Averting environmental catastrophe will require a completely new set of business beliefs, behaviours, objective setting, and modelling which assigns value to sustainability and a cost to inaction. • Leaders must move from short-term, finite thinking focused solely on profit, to a balance with longer-term thinking focused on outcomes for future generations. • This will require leaders at all levels who can speak up, lean into the unknown, challenge the status quo and not be afraid. • Business leaders will need to engage their external stakeholder ecosystems to drive transformation. They need to understand their organization’s place in the societies within which they operate and build alliances across government, businesses and civil societies to effect lasting change. • A deep knowledge of ESG issues must be woven into business education, throughout the entire curriculum, not just specialist modules. This must include partnerships with market practitioners to create platforms for students to practise theory. • Early career professionals must leave business school with sustainability skills and competencies in their ‘toolbox’ as well as a deep knowledge of the subject. They must believe that they can make a difference, challenge the status quo and see themselves as agents of change. Environment is the leading business concern Recommendations were developed after a CEMS survey found that the environment was thegreatest concern facing themasmodernday business leaders. This overtook technological advancement, which was identified as the greatest challenge in 2018. The survey of 4,206 professionals from75 countries revealed that 43% of respondents believed the environment was among their greatest challenges, with technology a distant second (26%). Both issues were considered more urgent to global business than shifts in world economic and political power centres (14%), political instability (6%) and global pandemics (3%). Nicole de Fontaines, Executive Director of CEMS, said: “We hope that this report will add some rich insights from across our unique CEMS community into how business leaders, educators and professionals can truly make a difference when it comes to tackling the environmental emergency. “For too longwehave treatedplanet Earthas an infinite resource to plunder. In very recent years, however, humanity seems to finally understand that we are headed for environmental catastrophe if urgent action isn’t taken.