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What D&I trends do we expect to see in 2022? INvolve’s Managing Director Alexandra Evreinoff provides some insights on what to expect and the sharp focus on accountability. 

2020 forced businesses to face the reality of inequality in society and the reach/ impact this has within the workplace. 2021 has been the year to use our collective power and influence to drive inclusion within our workplaces and recognize the role that businesses play in creating societies that are fairer and more equitable for everyone.

The events of the last two years, from the global pandemic, the upsurge in the Black Lives Matter movement, rising hostility towards the LGBT+ community and the #StopAsianHate campaign, are just a few instances that prove the impact that strong, targeted D&I strategies can have within organizations. These strategies and actions far extend the four walls of a business and it’s been inspiring to see so many individuals and organizations stepping up and driving meaningful change.

So, what does that make 2022? Well, 2022 is the year for accountability.

While businesses will have differing priorities within their own D&I strategies, accountability is key.  I have highlighted some trends that that we could see in 2022 and how INvolve can support your organization in cementing long-term, sustainable change.

It is a data-driven world.

We have seen a seismic shift towards data in the last couple of years and we expect that data-driven solutions will certainly continue to be at the forefront of D&I agendas in 2022.

Data is useful for providing a benchmark or starting point from which progress can be measured. Whether that is working towards closing your organization’s Ethnicity and Gender Pay Gaps or collating quantitative and qualitative data from your employees to discern their perceptions, experiences and expectations within your business, robust data is vital to draw up strong action plans and concrete roadmaps to drive inclusion.

INvolve’s RADAR diagnostic tool takes a 360-degree look at D&I in practice within global organizations, measuring internal processes through Recruitment & Retention, Attraction, Development, Accountability, Resourcing, Innovation, and providing you with strong recommendations from our in-house team of experts based on your organization’s journey. Find out more about our RADAR tool here and how to implement this within your business here.

Curbing the Great Resignation.

The Great Resignation, or the Big Quit, has dominated the news recently. It is a concern to see employees walk away from their jobs, but are we really surprised? The pandemic has shown us that employees are increasingly looking for inclusive and fair workplace environments. Ones that allow for healthier work life balances, that are better at prioritizing psychological safety and equitable practices that foster inclusion.

With Millennial and Gen Z talent on the way in, generations that are statistically more likely to value flexible working schemes and stricter work-life balances, it is time to reckon with the fact that the workplace is evolving. The businesses that will stay relevant are the ones that are open to change, and we can help with that. Take a look at our Inclusive Leadership Program which provides leaders within your organization with the tools to lead in and contribute to build an inclusive world.

Unconscious bias is out, Conscious Inclusion is in

Unconscious bias is a phrase many have grown tired of, and if the last few years are anything to go by merely recognizing one’s biases is not enough.

Conscious Inclusion on the other hand, is about taking practical action and accountability to mitigate our biases, rather than just raising awareness that they exist. Our tailored Conscious Inclusion training offers your teams a closer look at their own perspective and that of the wider organization. Participants are equipped with tools to help tackle their own and others’ biases through both introspection and practical action.

Doing the work? Time to disclose it.

In 2021, INvolve and Audeliss created the If Not Now, When? campaign born from the letter first seen in the Sunday Times. This campaign was in response to the Black Lives Matter Movement’s upsurge and is one of the largest CEO-driven commitments to taking long-term sustainable actions on Black inclusion in UK business.

In October 2021, we released the first report from this campaign and organizations ranging from Tesco to Hachette, Greene King and Sodexo all published details and outcomes on some of the initiatives that they have implemented this year. Not only is this report a strong piece of best practice for other organizations to get inspiration from, but those who published their work are holding themselves accountable for making change happen. Publicly stating the work that you are doing and pledging to keep driving progress is a key driver for change, and joining this campaign is a great step in the right direction for any organization that is committed to inclusion.

Inclusion is not an endpoint, and we will constantly have work to do. Every organization is at a different point in their D&I journey and yet each journey is vital to collective progress.

2022 will be the year for accountability and businesses that are open and honest about their work, that consistently measure and amend their action plans where necessary and ensure to stay on top of their goals are the ones that will contribute to pave the way towards a more inclusive society for us all.