Bloomberg Línea — The notion that the transformation of organizations into diverse companies has a positive impact on the business and its employees is becoming more and more widespread, although there are some sectors that are more inclusive than others.
A recent study by Bain & Company indicates that investments in diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) have positively impacted the experience within companies in Latin America.
According to the survey, which polled 5,000 people in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Brazil, 70% of employees believe that the feeling of inclusion has improved in recent years, and this effect has been even more pronounced for women, people of African descent and other underrepresented groups.
It is proven, according to the Bain & Company report, that inclusion attracts, retains and solidifies team performance, making it a critical tool for obtaining and retaining talent within a company, as people who do not feel included are eight times more likely to seek new opportunities, and 17 times more likely to not recommend the company they work for to other potential employees.
Likewise, those who feel included are four times more likely to recognize that their work environment boosts their creativity and allows them to challenge the status quo.
How is inclusion implemented in a company?
Given the advancement of DE&I in organizations, companies are increasingly striving to create specialized areas, implement internal initiatives, make public commitments or directly supporting the ecosystem through NGOs and public investment, among other measures.
However, there is a differential to be made between diversity and equity, the two pillars that employees value most within companies.
Diversity refers to the representation within the organization of people of different ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, skills, origins, personality traits and everything that defines the identity of each employee, while equity refers to those processes aimed at promoting equal access, opportunities and results for all people.
According to the Global LinkedIn Data Press, there has been a 68% increase in the number of chief diversity officers (CDOs, a C-level position responsible for diversity), and a 107% increase in the number of chief diversity officers or global diversity leaders in the last five years.
Technology services, oil and gas and financial services are the industries with the highest perceptions of inclusion (56%, 53% and 50% of respondents indicated that they feel fully included, respectively), while employees in the service and healthcare industries feel the least included (only 39% feel fully included).
The feeling of inclusion also has an impact on employee satisfaction.
According to the Net Promoter for People5 methodology (eNPS), respondents were evaluated on how much they would recommend the company they work for to other people. The results showed that those who do not feel included are 17 times more likely not to recommend the company they work for.
The data show that this factor is even more relevant for women, who are less likely than men to recommend the companies they work for when they do not feel fully included.
Inclusion, country by country
Of the countries in Latin America analyzed, Colombia consistently presented an improvement in perception among all demographic groups and industries analyzed, although Colombian respondents have the highest concern for inclusion among all countries, especially women.
In Brazil, an improvement was noted with respect to 2019. At that time, 38% of women and 41% of men believed that their company’s leaders had gender equality as a strategic imperative or priority issue, compared to 55% and 54% measured in the current survey.
Chile lies in second place, with a 73% positive perception of this issue.
In Argentina, meanwhile, 47% of white heterosexual men consider inclusion important when looking for a job, being the group that least valued inclusion among the countries.
At the same time, in all the countries surveyed, inclusion proved to be a strong influence on the value of eNPS, and for respondents in Colombia and Argentina, this factor is even more pronounced.
Although Latin America still has a considerable challenge ahead, the percentage of employees who feel fully included (46%) is higher than in North America, Europe and Australia, where only around 30% of respondents feel fully included.