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Boards Are Committed to Advancing Workplace Equity, Cited as a Critical Factor in Building Resilient Companies

Monday, 24 July 2023 08:00 AM

Boards are seeking better approaches and tools for effective oversight

WALTHAM, MA / ACCESSWIRE / July 24, 2023 / As investors, regulators, employees, and customers demand progress on workplace equity, corporate boards have a critical role in driving organizational action. A new report released by Syndio and Tapestry Networks, "Advancing Workplace Equity from the Boardroom" (AWEB), highlights the challenges that boards face in advancing DEI initiatives and identifies pathways for improved governance of workplace equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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"Directors have final responsibility for a company's actions, including driving equity from the boardroom to the front line. ‘Advancing Workplace Equity from the Boardroom' calls out the need for a compass and a work program suitable for the board of a large, complex company," said Jonathan Day, CEO of Tapestry Networks.

"Companies today are more conscious than ever of the importance of focusing on business moves that have direct impact on reputation, growth, and the bottom line," said Maria Colacurcio, CEO of Syndio. But connecting equity to outcomes continues to be a challenge. "Although the link between diversity and performance may be understood, it's hard to convert this practically into action. The challenge is to give it as much airtime versus other topics and metrics that seem closer to how you run the business," one director said.

While boards are committed to making progress, they operate from varying levels of understanding; some have fully integrated workplace equity into their business strategies while others lack clear objectives, metrics, reporting structures, or strong alignment with business outcomes.

"The way companies are reporting on this is all over the place." The AWEB report reveals that as boards navigate the evolving DEI landscape, they are seeking both good practices and consistent definitions, metrics, and regulatory requirements. A director said, "people don't know what questions to ask. It would be great to have well respected best practices for board oversight."

"This groundbreaking study underscores boards' commitment to the value of workplace equity, and also their discomfort with the pace of progress," said Marsha Ershaghi Hames, Partner, Tapestry Networks. "Our report highlights the need for equity, diversity and inclusion to be aligned with broader organizational objectives, rather than undertaken in isolation."

"Advancing Workplace Equity from the Boardroom" reveals seven key findings:

  • Boards and organizations vary widely in level of commitment and maturity of oversight.
  • Board and management diversity is essential for progress on workplace equity but can lead to dependence on a few individuals.
  • Tying DEI to business objectives drives commitment and progress.
  • Management teams monitor ample DEI data, but information often fails to come to the board in a way that drives decision-making and action.
  • Accountability for meaningful goals is essential.
  • Transparency catalyzes action but brings risks.
  • Boards lack a shared set of accepted oversight and reporting practices.
  • To help boards progress, the report offers questions that directors can use to push for action.

"Advancing Workplace Equity from the Boardroom" combines insights from directors and boardroom executives representing 35 public companies to offer a comprehensive analysis of the challenges faced in achieving effective board oversight of workplace equity. The full report can be downloaded here: bit.ly/AWEB

About Tapestry Networks

Tapestry Networks brings world-class leaders together to tackle complex challenges and promote positive change through the power of connected thinking.

About Syndio

Syndio provides technology and expert guidance that helps companies measure, achieve, and sustain all facets of workplace equity. More than 200 companies, including 30% of Fortune's Most Admired Companies, rely on Syndio's Workplace Equity Analytics Platform to close pay and opportunity gaps, mitigate legal risk, and turn DE&I goals into tangible results.

Media Relations Contact:

Marsha Ershaghi Hames
[email protected]

SOURCE: Tapestry Networks

Topic:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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