Navigating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Progress: Insights from Let's Talk DEI 2023 Edition

dei diversity and inclusion linkedin live Nov 30, 2023

As we near the end of 2023, the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) landscape reflects dynamic shifts and noteworthy progress. In our last LinkedIn Live session for the year, Eleanor Nevill and Laura Stringer explored key themes and trends that have shaped the DEI narrative over the past year.

Advancing women in the workplace

The discussion kicked off by shedding light on the persistent focus on advancing women, particularly in STEM fields like construction and engineering. Organisations are increasingly turning to data and metrics to gauge progress across all levels. Furthermore, there's a discernible uptick in investments in female-only leadership programmes, despite ongoing debates about their inclusivity.

Shifting focus from diversity to inclusion

A noteworthy evolution in the DEI narrative was a shift from merely diversifying teams to fostering inclusion. Building an inclusive culture emerged as a foundational aspect of DEI work. The trio of inclusion, equity, and belonging gained prominence, acknowledging their profound impact on employee engagement and retention.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and the value of allies

The conversation then expanded to ERGs and their pivotal role as spaces for valuable conversations within organisations. The significance of allies, particularly senior men, in women's networks and ERGs was underscored. ERGs were observed evolving to encompass a broader range of topics, with a growing trend of accountability for DEI progress throughout the organisation.

Caring organisations and career inclusion

Eleanor and Laura also addressed the intersection of caring responsibilities and career inclusion. Organisations are progressively extending policies beyond traditional maternity and paternity leave, considering diverse forms of parenthood, adoption, and support for same-sex couples. A holistic approach to caring and career, catering to different demographics is a crucial element in creating an empathetic and inclusive workplace.

Final thoughts

Both Eleanor and Laura expressed excitement about the prospects of 2024. The anticipation is grounded in the expectation of richer conversations, a heightened focus on inclusion and equity, and collaborative efforts with a diverse array of organisations. The trends observed in 2023 signal progress and a deeper understanding of DEI's strategic importance.

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