According to an international study, more than half (52%) of business decision-makers believe that the need to adopt new technology will impede their diversity and inclusion (D&I) goals, indicating a resourcing gap.
According to a survey commissioned by Intel, nearly two-thirds (63%) of decision-makers believe the pandemic positively impacted D&I.
However, nearly a third (30%) of leaders who reported a negative impact on D&I reported a decrease in employees from underrepresented groups.
More than half of those leaders (54%) stated that disabled employees were the most impacted.
In the UK, the employment of disabled workers slipped by during the pandemic by 300,000, according to the Office for National Statistics, although it has since recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
Similarly, employment of ethnic minority groups in the UK plummeted at 26 times the rate of white workers during the first year of the pandemic.
Christiane Bisanzio, vice president of D&I at Japan Tobacco International, said the technological investment was key to D&I.
She told HR magazine: “Technology is essential to communicate D&I values both internally and externally and it provides a platform for training and support.”
She added that diversity data can be put to excellent use reviewing the outcomes for key talent processes – for example, tracking the gender balance of interviewees for leadership roles.
“Data collection and technology play an important part in implementing D&I efforts.”
Most business leaders (57%) believe their company could do more to invest in D&I systems and initiatives.
Similarly, while 77% of UK respondents said their organisation has long-term goals to achieve a diverse and inclusive working environment, more than half (51%) said their company is ill-prepared to meet these goals.
Bisanzio added that for any D&I strategy to be successful, regardless of its resources, it must work within a company's existing culture - there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
"The most difficult challenge for any company is ensuring that the D&I team operates within the context of the corporate culture at all times." Understanding how the organisation operates and its deeply ingrained values is critical.
Only then can the D&I team design a strategy that fits within an organisation and be successful.”