London, 30th September; Amid this year’s National Inclusion Week (27 September-3 October), data-science company, Profusion has asserted the important role that data can play in helping businesses drive better standards in diversity, inclusion and equality.
Created and run by Inclusive Employers, National Inclusion Week is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of inclusion in the workplace. The theme for this year’s week is ‘Unity’; a reminder of the importance of coming together to share learning, best practice, successes and challenges to create an inclusive workplace environment.
As a leader on this topic, Profusion continues to promote the importance of a progressive approach to D&I – particularly in the data science field where diversity in academia will be fundamental in enabling the full-scale intelligence needed for the future of AI. In this vein, its workforce currently consists of 17 nationalities and a 45% female leadership team.
However, at a wider level the consensus is that some companies may be falling behind in efforts to improve D&I, with one survey revealing 27 percent of D&I leaders had put diversity initiatives on hold because of the pandemic.1
Indicative of this, a third of Britain’s biggest companies have failed to increase the number of women on their boards in line with a target set by a government-backed review and there are still no black executives in any of the top three positions in UK FTSE 100 companies.
Natalie Cramp, CEO of Profusion comments: “While we’ve certainly made great strides in enabling greater diversity and inclusiveness, the reality is that there is still a big mountain to climb, with the coronavirus putting a lot of initiatives and pay gap reporting on hold.
“However, as we pivot to the new normal which includes increased working from home, it is essential that businesses place greater focus on attracting, recruiting and retaining employees from a more diverse pool. This is no longer a moral imperative but a commercial necessity, in terms of driving innovation and intellectual capacity – with research suggesting that inclusive organisations are eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes.”
At the core of better D&I lies an increased reliance on data science. This is seen as more businesses adopt a data-driven approach to diversity, making strategic HR and commercial decisions based on data collection, analysis, and insights.
Natalie adds: “The opportunity afforded by a data-driven D&I approach cannot be underestimated. From enabling businesses to pinpoint key areas of under-representation to the exacting impact of diversity measures on innovation, productivity and the bottom-line, data can be incredibly powerful in informing strategic changes that deliver real results.
“In this way, data science will play a key role in a future which attracts and develops from all sex, ages and backgrounds to achieve better business, both ethically and commercially.”