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ESG Series: Digging Into DEI Ratings & Practices

Written by:

Katie Mehnert

Data is king – especially in energy. Data, analytics, and reports effectively prove the value of our actions. They also show our weak points. Businesses globally make their decisions around data. 

So, what’s wrong with using it to quantify human-to-human matters in the workplace like diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)?

We spoke to an esteemed group of panelists as part of our Explore Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) series in a conversation led by Hillary H. Holmes, a partner at Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher LLP. This group talked not just about DEI when hiring but also why companies and investors should take note. 

The key takeaway…?

Employees want to work for someone who cares about them, and investors stand by this sentiment.

ESG Series: Professionals & Investors
Value DEI Hiring Practices…Really!

We’ve come a long way from outdated hiring practices. However, there are still challenges present that these panelists aren’t ready to move past yet.

Who Really Cares About DEI In The Workplace?

Apparently, the answer is not just employees. 

That’s right. As pointed out by former Chevron Chief Diversity Officer and Board Advisor to ALLY, Lee Jourdan, a recent study from FTI consulting surveyed employees and investors to find out what they think CEOs should prioritize in the workplace. 

For employees, the CEO Leadership Redefined survey revealed the following top priorities: 

  1. The physical and mental well-being of employees
  2. Employee DEI
  3. Sustainable operation

Investors followed a similar path: 

  1. Financial performance
  2. Employee DEI
  3. Sustainable operation

A focus on these aspects does not equate to a political or social agenda. Each idea, instead, creates an ideal formula for companies to capitalize on workplace adaption while benefiting from the image they’re portraying. 

An example of this comes from the CEO of BP, Bernard Looney. When discussing long-term advances and improvements in sustainability, he says, “You cannot go against the grain of society and expect to be a long-term successful company.” His message is accompanied by his commitment to not only cut 40% of its hydrocarbon output by 2030 but also to replace those profits with lower carbon revenues. 

Translation? 

BP is implementing alterations based on what the public cares about to create environmental change and increase revenue for stakeholders over time. It’s both a smart move financially and on a social level.

It’s not just about one particular issue in the U.S. either, says CEO of Denominator, Anders Rodenberg. He says, “as companies are implementing these things, they need to be able to look at that level of granularity in their organizations and know what is important for our employees in their area.”

Professionals globally face different challenges. In the U.S., DEI concerns often revolve around gender and people of color. However, location matters and area-based concerns should be considered to reach balance at even a macro level.

Retaining Talent

Ageism is also a major problem. According to an AARP study, over 78% of older workers have seen or experienced discrimination in the workplace because of their age. Because of this, many senior professionals feel less appreciated and leave their jobs in hopes of finding the right opportunity.

Furthermore, a toxic workplace is 10.4 times more likely to contribute to employee turnover. This includes failure to promote based on diversity, equity, and inclusion as contributing factors. Overall, it helps to address every facet of DEI practices to create an environment people want to work and stay in.

You’re Already Behind Your Competitors

Failure to understand or improve diversity, equity, and inclusion leaves businesses at a competitive disadvantage. 

The Harvard Business Review says, “86% of employees and 66% of HR directors assert that a diverse workforce will become even more important as roles, skills, and company requirements change over time.”

Does this mean you have to care about DEI practices? No.

But with a whopping 45% of Millenials and 47% of Gen Zs that believe systemic racism is widespread generally in business, making mindful internal changes is more important for the future of companies than ever before. 

Furthermore, these groups of professionals will only grow, eventually pushing the matters to the top of their to-tackle list. In fact, Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the total U.S. labor force by 2025. As their search for the right job continues, those who are determined to stick to previous practices are more likely to be left in the dust.

Address DEI Hiring Practices To Simply Meet Numbers

Disclosure from businesses is important – but so is a company’s bottom line. Meeting ideal DEI hiring practices and proving they are succinct with current trends is great. However, you can also uphold DEI practices and hire candidates that can truly produce valuable results.

A few ideas companies, HR managers, and CEOs should keep in mind:

1. No One Group Or Affinity Of People Has A Monopoly On Talent

Look beyond gender, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, and so on, to widen your pool of potential talent. Make your company one people want to work at. You’ll then attract this level of talent naturally.

2. It’s Critical To Regularly Analyze Performance 

The work is not over after you’ve hired fresh talent. It’s still up to management to review financial and operating metrics to ensure that who they’ve hired can in fact deliver results. 

3. Expand Your View & Include Others In The Hiring Process

Individuals all have personal biases. Use the insight of others to broaden your understanding and evaluation of potential employees. Finding the “best” candidate is relative. It’s important to consider other perspectives during the hiring process to get out of your own head and align with the best interests of the company.

ALLY Amps Up Former Hiring Strategies By Attracting Talent Attracted To Change

Companies that take committed actions to reflect DEI practices are more likely to succeed financially. However, it’s about balance. Ann Rosenberg, the Senior Vice President for Sustainable Development at Wood PLC, says it’s about making collaborative efforts to recognize one another, embrace one another’s differences, and celebrate the brainpower of all types of humans to create sustainable energy solutions for the future.

While survey-based studies are more difficult to quantify compared to traditional reporting methods, ALLY knows that people are looking for purpose when job searching. Which makes adapting to this change necessary to attract valuable employees. 

At ALLY, our councils are a targeted effort, and ongoing discussions work with the energy industry on these topics to help drive exceptional culture and bring a wider variety of candidates into energy than ever before.

Hire and create a culture with purpose. Get started today with ALLY.

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