What’s the real ROI on diversity and inclusion?

Diversity can have a significant organisational as well as financial impact

The impact of diversity extends well beyond the HR function in business, and can have a significant organisational as well as financial impact, writes Aaron Green

It’s a fact that HR professionals have known for a long time – diversity well and truly impacts a company’s bottom line. More than just philanthropic ideas of ‘doing the right thing’, diversity delivers cold, hard profits to an entire organisation.

Today, more CEOs and executive leaders are catching on to the value of having an inclusive workforce and it’s become a key priority for businesses moving forward. Not only do diversity policies ensure companies can attract the widest range of talent, but it has a powerful effect on a company’s ability to innovate.

While the implementation of a diversity and inclusion talent strategy is on many of our agendas, the question still remains largely unanswered: What is the exact return on investment of these mindset- and people-focused strategies, and what does success look like?

Diversity & inclusion in SAP
“For SAP, diversity & inclusion (D&I) are business imperatives and a top priority, “ said Renata Janini Dohmen, senior vice president, human resources, SAP, APJ.

“Cultivating these not only creates a more cohesive workforce, but also boosts talent and creativity that will drive the business forward. Unconscious bias and the lack of inclusion hold organisations back from harnessing all available resources for innovation and growth.

“With that in mind, SAP created a broadly integrated, company-wide initiative called business beyond bias in 2016 and is leading the way to building a more inclusive culture by example,”

SAP is the first multinational technology company to receive the global certification by Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) organisation, the premier standard and methodology that was launched at the World Economic Forum for evaluating an organisation’s commitment to gender equality.

In Asia Pacific Japan, it received the award in Australia, India, Japan and Singapore.

“We have closed in on our goal to have 25 per cent women in management positions worldwide – six months ahead of schedule,” said Janini Dohmen.

“We are well underway to extend this even further and have committed to increasing the percentage of women in leadership roles by one percent each year, with a target of 30 per cent by year-end 2022.”

Autism at Work
SAP’s groundbreaking Autism at Work program employs nearly 120 colleagues on the autism spectrum across nine countries, offering them the opportunity to apply their skills where they are the strongest.

“Considering the needs and strengths of different generations in the workforce is another area where SAP stands out,” said Janini Dohmen.

“Learning opportunities and policies specially designed for early talents and for professionals at later stages in the maturity curve are available to all employees in APJ, including reverse mentoring to foster the understanding of different generations and how best they can work together.”

Removing unconscious bias
SAP has the technology, global influence and drive to tackle inequity and bias – and be a force for change in the communities we serve.

As a leader in technology and using its unparalleled business process expertise and industry-leading machine learning technology, SAP is helping customers detect and prevent unconscious bias across the employee lifecycle and at the moment decisions impacting people are made.

Technology comes in as an enabler, off a solid and undisputable foundation of trust and respect for differences.

For more information on SAP SuccessFactors, the workforce of the future, the role of technology and what these mean for HR, visit SAP HR Insights. Image source: iStock