The Rise of Diversity
and Inclusion Roles
Across Europe and the Middle East
The Rise Of Diversity and Inclusion Roles
Across Europe and the Middle East
Organisations have the power to change and contribute to a more open, diverse, equitable, and inclusive society. And every employee has to stand together. While many of us intuitively know that diversity is good for business, now we have the numbers to back it up. With movements such as Black Lives Matter, the past few months have been a catalyst for lasting change – and diversity, inclusion, and belonging will be at the heart of it.
In this article we look at the growth of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) roles over the last five years. We reveal which jobs are growing fastest, in which industries, the correlation with company success – and how the rise is set to continue, even with the impact of Covid-19.
It’s clear that each of us has a role to play as the case for establishing a truly diverse workforce, at all organisational levels, grows more compelling each day.
Companies are investing in D&I and creating dedicated teams
The data reveals a steady growth in D&I employees in every industry across EMEA with Consumer Goods, Legal, and Software & IT being the top three growth sectors over the last five years. Whist Education, Public Administration, and Public Safety industries make the top of the list when it comes to the top 10 industries with the most D&I employees per capita (per 10k employees) – all in all, the rise is promising.
In fact, the UK already employs almost twice as many D&I workers (per 10,000 employees) as any other country. What’s more, many EMEA countries make the global top ten. The UK is joined by Ireland, Switzerland, UAE and Germany as part of the top ten countries globally to employ the most D&I workers.
growth in D&I employees over the
last five years in EMEA
D&I roles are growing fast, but there’s still work to do at all levels
The top three fastest growing D&I roles in EMEA are Director of Diversity, Diversity Officer, and Head of Diversity. Strikingly, 77% of all new D&I roles are either senior or director positions with 22.8% of these roles in leadership positions (Manager, Director, VP or CXO). And only one in five are entry level. This could be a reflection of organisations’ desires to build future D&I teams starting with the senior position. Plus, it could be an opportunity for others to get ahead by creating these junior roles now.
Director of Diversity
Head of Diversity
D&I jobs in EMEA grew 1.65x times faster than HR jobs
D&I job posts across EMEA have increased dramatically over the last five years. And while Covid-19 affected this growth, June 2020 led to a recovery, and we saw a 58% increase in D&I jobs posted when compared to June 2019.
This investment and growth in D&I is a good first step, but it’s not enough in and of itself. It needs to be coupled with executive support and company-wide accountability to achieve truly diverse and successful teams. Moreover, the distribution of D&I roles also needs to be expanded across all functions and levels, and not just senior levels.
Having a D&I team conveys workplace inclusivity, and correlates with company success
LinkedIn survey data also reveals that companies with employees dedicated to D&I efforts are more likely to be perceived as an “inclusive workplace for people of diverse backgrounds”. Also, mounting research confirms the financial, cultural, and creative benefits of having diverse teams, particularly at leadership level. As a result, companies are turning to their D&I teams to illuminate more inclusive strategies for their people, and processes – across talent acquisition, HR, and employee engagement. And this is leading to more diverse outcomes.
What’s more, time and again, research shows that effective teams are more diverse. By that we mean diverse in all aspects: thought, culture, and background. And this leads to company success, from revenue and earnings, to employee satisfaction.
Globally, companies with a D&I team were 22% more likely to be seen as “an industry-leading company with high-caliber talent” and 12% more likely to be seen as an “inclusive workplace for people of diverse backgrounds.
Conversations around D&I have tripled in the last year
Posts and company updates around D&I topics on LinkedIn have also experienced an accelerated rise, more than tripling in volume for both companies and LinkedIn members in the last year, globally.
In June 2020 alone, more than half a million members and over one hundred thousand companies created a D&I post. And this trend looks set to continue, as more and more of us seek to support the rise of diversity and inclusion in our workplaces – and beyond.
In fact, LinkedIn data reveals that companies are posting more about D&I, with a huge spike in engagement rates in EMEA in June 2020. This sharp increase reflected Pride Month, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the desire for people to make a stand.
“As our societies and cultures grapple with these challenges, the corporate world will lead”, says Gerri Mason Hall, the Chief Diversity & Social Responsibility Officer, at the catering group Sodexo Americas. “The government and regulation has its place,” Gerri says, “but I believe the impact of the corporate world creates speed.” What’s more, companies who take diversity and inclusion seriously don’t have the luxury of complacency. As Gerri notes, her team’s tagline is “Inclusion never stops.”
Gerri Mason Hall
The Chief Diversity & Social Responsibility Officer
The role of diversity and inclusion at every point in an employee’s progression is important, as Pascale Thorre, Head of Diversity at HEINEKEN notes: “inclusion and diversity should be looked at for the entire employee life cycle.” Pascale notes that inclusion and diversity may start with talent acquisition, but that it should continue “with on-boarding, promotions and building strong teams that contribute to success together.” Plus, she says it also needs to include “helping people develop their careers as they want and have an opportunity to add to the business strategy
Head of Diversity at HEINEKEN
Supporting diversity and inclusion has never been so important
Diversity and inclusion is not just the responsibility of D&I employees. As a talent professional or a HR team member, you can contribute to creating more diverse, inclusive, and winning teams. The need for everyone to learn and implement the best practices is ongoing, and requires a united effort – at every level.
Diversity and Inclusion job titles and job posts are roles identified within the HR function that contain terminology or keywords related to D&I such as Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer, among many others. Unpaid and Training seniority roles were excluded from the analysis.