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Pandemic-induced workplace disruptions had positive impact on DE&I in Indian organisations: Study

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Nov 28, 2021
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71 per cent of Indian leaders whose companies offer hybrid work options said their organisation has significantly adapted DE&I initiatives for a hybrid workforce

The workplace disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have had a positive impact on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) within organisations in India, according to a study by Intel.

Intel commissioned a global survey of over 3,000 business leaders across 17 countries to hear a first-person point of view on the state of

DE&I today and in the future. In India, the findings revealed the perspectives of more than 200 business leaders across the country on the impact the pandemic has had on achieving their goals and how they plan to build inclusive and diverse companies going forward.

As per the survey, the pandemic has been a catalyst for businesses to reimagine the workplace model and adapt to new ways of working. 81 per cent of the business leaders surveyed in India said that the workplace disruptions caused by the pandemic have had a positive impact on DE&I in their organisation. Furthermore, 71 per cent said their organisation has significantly adapted DE&I initiatives for a hybrid workforce.

“This survey sheds light on the fact that with the right mindset and a culture that promotes employee wellbeing and technology, we can accelerate the journey toward a more diverse and inclusive workforce," said Anjali Rao, Senior Director - HR, Intel India.

"As organisations plan for the next phase of work — whether remote, in-person, or hybrid — leaders need to continue thinking differently about DE&I," added Rao.

Business leaders were also confident in their trajectory to achieving DE&I goals, as per the survey. Nearly 69 per cent of survey participants who have set DE&I goals said they want to achieve them in the next two years while 77 per cent of those are confident in the company’s ability to do so, compared to 66 per cent of business leaders globally.

Additionally, 71 per cent of Indian leaders whose companies offer hybrid work options said their organisation has significantly adapted DE&I initiatives for a hybrid workforce, compared to 60 per cent of leaders globally.

On the other hand, 16 per cent of Indian business leaders have indicated a negative impact on DE&I progress due to the pandemic. A primary reason for this is remote work making inclusivity challenging. 55 per cent of those who have indicated a Covid-driven negative impact on DE&I said that working remotely has made inclusivity more challenging.

However, 66 per cent of respondents said that remote working and digitalisation has made it easier to hire from underrepresented groups while 57 per cent said that the acceleration of digital transformation spurred by the pandemic has encouraged the adoption of new tools that will support inclusivity.

Technology has also played an important role achieving DE&I goals, as per.the report. 94 per cent of respondents with a hybrid workforce in India agreed that technology will make it easier to achieve their DE&I goals, highlighting its importance. Over half (51 per cent) of respondents said that exploring how technology might help bolster their DE&I commitments is one of their top three priorities in the next 12 months.

In terms of investments, 36 per cent of business leaders said there’s room for their company to invest more in systems and initiatives that promote DE&I.

In terms of barriers to success, 45 per cent said that a lack of investment in the tools and technologies to innovate is a key challenge that could prevent their company from reaching its DE&I goals. Flr 50 per cent of respondents, more employee training, development and support is critical in helping their business reach its DE&I goals.

48 per cent of respondents said their organisation has introduced new DE&I training for senior leadership over the past year. Organisations have made "significant changes to them since remote work began in 2020 in order to adapt to changing work environments," it said.

Additionally, 39 per cent of respondents said that they already have rigorous policy and training for their senior leadership. Further, 46 per cent of leaders surveyed said they’d welcome global benchmarks and industry standards for DE&I and 47 per cent want more collaboration across the industry as it relates to inclusion.

Further, 63 per cent believed that more awareness and inclusive language in products and documentation could help businesses achieve their DE&I goals.

Published on November 28, 2021

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