More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of North American employers have a formal diversity, equity and inclusion policy or program, while 60 per cent offer employee education on DEI, according to two separate surveys by Leger Marketing Inc. on behalf of ESG Global Advisors and ACI Argyle Communications Inc.
The surveys, which polled more than 70 employers and 2,000 employees across North America, found 94 per cent of organizations said they’re embracing flexible working models and 79 per cent said they’re increasing investments in employees’ physical and mental health.
In addition, nearly half (48 per cent) of employers said they’re integrating social risk into their enterprise risk management systems and board governance (44 per cent), while the same percentage (48 per cent) said they have a human rights policy, 23 per cent extend their human rights policy to the supply chain and 24 per cent follow human rights due diligence.
Read: Sounding Board: How DEI enhances workplace safety, employee attraction, retention
The surveys also found 55 per cent of organizations offer employee education about Indigenous reconciliation, 39 per cent have shown public support for Indigenous rights and 26 per cent have Indigenous talent recruitment programs.
Among Canadian employees, there was a 10-point difference between Caucasian and BIPOC employees when they were asked to consider the importance of demonstrating a commitment to Indigenous rights and reconciliation (68 per cent of Caucasian employees and 78 per cent of BIPOC employees: 78 per cent), while the gap in the U.S. was almost double (64 per cent of Caucasian employees and 85 per cent of BIPOC employees).
“What we’re seeing is that organizations are normalizing foundational efforts around social issues — from social risk integration to human capital management to DEI,” said Dustyn Lanz, senior advisor at ESG Global Advisors, in a press release. “However, we’re seeing gaps in actions that generate tangible outcomes, such as those related to hiring, procurement and supply chain. This highlights an opportunity for leaders to be courageous and take action now, rather than waiting for best practices to be defined by others.”
Read: KPMG offering Indigenous wellness benefit as part of Truth and Reconciliation plan