A recent survey by DNV reveals that a growing number of companies are beginning to put Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) on the corporate agenda. They tend to agree that a diverse and inclusive company is better performing, yet few see D&I as business critical. However, companies integrating D&I into their business model stand to gain significant performance benefits.
- 79% say D&I figures in the company overall business strategy
- 60% agree that a diverse & inclusive company is better performing
- Only 32% say it is business critical
- 29% link it to increase innovation
- 28% link D&I to new business opportunities
- While 57.8% see D&I as a means of attracting and retaining talent
n DNV’s ViewPoint survey, most respondents indicate D&I to be important and part of the company agenda and business strategy. Digging deeper, only a few seem to deploy tangible actions in a structured way and less than 1 in 3 companies have set a company-wide policy.
About half (51.9%) have instead limited their policy to a pilot or single initiative, indicating a focus on specific actions rather than a holistic company approach.
At the same time, there is increasing awareness of the business case for D&I borne out by numerous recent reports and studies. As per McKinsey1, ethnically diverse organizations are 36% more likely to outperform companies that are less diverse, while for gender diverse companies the percentage is 25.
Research shows that organizations embracing inclusivity are eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes and companies with more diverse leadership teams report higher innovative revenue
said Barbara Frencia, CEO of Business Assurance in DNV.
Moreover, as many as 88% do believe that a more diverse company is also a better performing company; however, only 32% see D&I as business critical. Company focus seems to be on improving culture, recruitment and company reputation. Only 29% see increased innovation as a main benefit of structured implementation. Even fewer have their eyes set on new business opportunities (28%).
Companies should be looking to take advantage of the business benefits D&I can drive. But as revealed by the ViewPoint survey, most companies are just starting out and very few seem to have a structured approach
In fact, across all respondents, 41.8% do have principles & objectives included in company policies but only 36.8% have accountabilities & responsibilities spelled out. Even fewer measure impact of actions (20%).
“Clearly, there is a need to step-up if business benefits are to be grasped. Making D&I core to how the company does business is essential. Applying a structured approach to implement, measure and scale actions makes it tangible. There is excellent guidance available in D&I standards such as ISO 30415. The way to advance on D&I, making sure it contributes to your business performance, it is not really different from how you incorporate and address issues such as quality or environmental management,” stated Barbara Frencia.
Recently, Thome Group, together with Hafnia, Anglo American, RightShip, Rio Tinto, and Wilhelmsen have joined forces to launch Maritime Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Innovation Lab 2022.
The innovation lab is an open competition for interested participants (individuals, institutions, companies, students etc.) to submit their ideas on addressing DEI in the maritime industry.
Shortlisted teams will participate in the innovation lab to hone their pitches in preparation for a ‘Dragon’s Den’ session with industry leaders. The winning team and their idea will be brought to life with collaboration and funding from the partner organizations involved.
With women representing only 1.2% percent of the global seafarer workforce, and a significant lack of ethnic and female representation in senior roles, the maritime sector lags when it comes to attracting and retaining the talent required to succeed in the face of increasing uncertainty and complexity.