Sustainability goes beyond combating climate change. Besides the environment, social aspects play an important part. In fact, on the Sustainable Development Goals, a large number have to do with social aspects. For any organization working with ESG, ED&I is now high on the agenda. On June 14, 2022, we from Transformation Forums organized a round table with the theme Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I). And in pursuit of a fairer, more diverse and more inclusive organization, organizations are immediately working effectively towards a number of important sustainable development goals. Sounds like an HR matter, so why do we pay attention to this on Finance on a Mission? Because HR and Finance can complement and strengthen each other like no other!

Diversity and inclusiveness, data make a difference

During the round table, Mariël Tiemersma, Global Lead Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Randstad, gave an insight into how they use data to make ED&I-related decisions. In doing so, data as such is not necessary to set goals and determine direction (doing the right thing can be done without data). In addition, data around ED&I is sometimes too positive, as groups that have a high degree of homogeneity make positive judgments about, for example, how inclusive they are. However, the fact that collecting data around ED&I is quite challenging is not a reason to abandon data collection. It is an advantage to use data to see what progress has been made in realizing the various goals in the area of ED&I. And to continually refine the collection and honing of data.

The right data, presented in the right way…

So an important point is getting the right data. Quantitative analysis gives you a good outlook at whether you are on track with respect to the goals to be realized. But it is important to reach the right group of people, with a sufficiently diverse background. Moreover, the questions must fit well with an inclusive organization. Data, performance measures and reporting on and analyzing deviations on the way to achieving organizational goals. This has been the domain of Finance for decades.  Finding the right data and presenting data in the right way, that’s where a great added value lies for the Finance function. And this is exactly where HR and Finance can help each other on an important topic such as ED&I.