Ultimate Software and Kronos want to help employers actually use research that explores the development of truly diverse and inclusive workplaces. To that end, the companies are funding a new Equity at Work Council, comprised of business and academic practitioners focused on D&I and workforce issues.
Formed in November 2019 but just announced last week, the council has been given the mission of helping employers develop evidence-based strategies that will help create more open, inclusive cultures, the companies said.New Equity at Work Council aims to encourage the actual use of D&I research to create diverse, inclusive workplaces. @UltimateHCM @KronosInc #HR #HRTech Click To Tweet
The announcement came even as employers admit their D&I efforts are lagging, at least in part because they don’t have the data to identify issues within their organization.
In June, a study by HR.com showed that only 16% of employers rate their D&I efforts as highly effective. The most common barrier, the study found: a lack of metrics to identify problem areas, cited by 34% of respondents. That was followed by failure to prioritize D&I at top leadership levels (31%) and lack of budget (28%).
Applying Research for D&I Change
In addition to managers and executives of Ultimate and Kronos, the Equity at Work Council’s members include professionals from Cornell University, Level Access, Providence Technology Solutions, Claire’s, UCLA and the Houston Astros.
The council’s led by Jarik Conrad, Ultimate Software’s senior director of human insights and HCM evangelism. In a press release, Conrad said the council is unique “because it uses a multifaceted approach to get a more complete understanding of who we are and why we behave the way we do.”
Initially, the council is focusing on three efforts:
- An annual study that explores the multi-dimensional aspects of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at work.
- An Equity at Work Index that will benchmark both quantitative and qualitative drivers of workplace equity.
- A series of open-source tools and resources designed to help organizations identify and overcome barriers to diversity and related issues.
The Equity at Work (or “E@W”) Index is being developed with the Science of Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, a non-profit that focuses on turning research into D&I practice. Currently identifying existing diversity measures, indices and methods used to measure equity at work, the group hopes to publish the index by the end of 2020.
SODI Executive Director Neela Rajendra hopes the collaboration between her organization and the Equity at Work Council will lead to more organizations putting D&I research to actual use. “Transformative insights from research rarely translate to action in organizations,” she said. “Our partnership with the Equity at Work Council will help us create tighter collaborations between researchers and companies, which will, in turn, lead to faster discovery, adoption, and traction of evidenced-based methods for success across all sectors.”
SODI has worked with other HR technology vendors in the past. In June, the organization partnered with TrustSphere, allowing its affiliates to use TrustSphere’s platform to measure the effectiveness of their inclusion efforts.
Disclosure: Ultimate Software is a sponsor of the HCM Technology Report.
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