Is your EDI commitment as strong as you think?

Written by Dave Waller Tuesday 18 June 2024
Understand how gaps can go unnoticed – and what managers can do to ensure EDI commitments aren’t missing anyone
Illustration of hands holding glasses over words

Can you name a prominent organisation today that doesn’t state a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)? You may struggle. Yet ask David Dent MBE MBA CMgr CCMI, vice president at Parexel International, and he’ll offer a more nuanced take. “Of the 90% of companies who say they have an EDI strategy, only 4% included disability within it,” he says.

The rationale for building a concerted EDI strategy is well documented: diverse and inclusive organisations help attract and retain talent. They can count on greater innovation and potentially higher profits.

But it’s equally important to ensure these strategies are comprehensive – and to ensure that policies and culture aren’t overlooking or discriminating against any particular groups, which often times is driven by unconscious bias and not strategic decision making. 

“A report from the World Economic Forum said that excluding people with disabilities can cost countries up to 7% of GDP,” David adds.   

Such glaring gaps in EDI reach can easily go unnoticed by leadership – simply because the leaders who put the policies in place aren’t aware there’s an issue.

“For people with a disability, the level of unemployment is almost twice that of the able-bodied community,” says David. “That creates a block straightaway. If people with disabilities aren't in the organisation, you won’t have anyone saying: ‘This is not equitable, and we don't feel included’.”

Read on: how to identify and fill the gaps in your organisation’s EDI strategy


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