The disruptions caused by the pandemic were not all unwelcome. For many business leaders, these disruptions led to positive outcomes. For instance, those who were putting away the digitalisation of processes in the company had to accelerate their efforts. A significant 55 per cent of the Indian business leaders who were part of the Intel-commissioned survey, feel that a hybrid workforce enables companies to offer a wider range of DE&I initiatives.
Of the 200 business leaders surveyed across the country, 57 per cent said that the digital transformation brought about by the pandemic encouraged the adoption of new inclusion tools.
About 66 per cent felt that remote working and digitalisation made it more convenient for them to hire talent from underrepresented categories and groups. Only 39 per cent observed a fall in the number of employees from underrepresented groups.
A good 69 per cent of the business leaders are gearing to fulfil the DE&I targets or goals they have set for themselves, within two years’ time. Only about 24 per cent are doubtful of the preparedness of their organisations to achieve their DE&I goals.
About 36 per cent of the business leaders believe that while their organisations invest just enough on DE&I programmes, they can improve a lot in this area.
The training, development and support required to achieve their DE&I goals is not enough feel 50 per cent of the respondents. They felt more effort is required in this area.
Only about 16 per cent of Indian business leaders reported observing a negative impact of the pandemic on their DE&I agenda.
Fifty-five per cent said remote working and a dispersed workforce have made inclusivity challenging.
Hurdles in D&I initiatives
About 41 per cent of organisations feel that failure to adapt to a digital-first atmosphere can act as a hurdle to their organisation achieving its DE&I goals.
One of the major challenges that can keep companies from achieving their DE&I goals is the lack of investment in the required tools and technologies for innovation, feel 45 per cent of the leaders.
The majority, that is, 71 per cent from organisations that have gone hybrid, feel that their organisations have adapted DE&I initiatives keeping in mind the hybrid workforce.
An overwhelming 94 per cent of the business leaders are of the belief that technology will help them achieve their DE&I goals easily.
About 73 per cent feel that technology will bring about improvements in the DE&I hiring initiatives, which, in turn, will help expand their organisation’s DE&I programmes. However, 51 per cent feel it will be critical to have in place more innovative technologies that aid inclusion.