“For the next decade, S is going to have the focus and attention that the E did for the last decade.”
The penultimate panel, hosted by Dial Global’s Leila McKenzie-Delis, shared insights from Ray Dempsey, Group Chief Diversity Officer at Barclays, Raj Verma, Chief Diversity, Culture + Ex Officer at Sanofi and Helen Webb OBE, Chief People Officer at WHSmith on the various aspects of integrating DIBEC initiatives into broader ESG strategies.
The panellists shared how, historically, companies have prioritised the environmental (E) aspect of ESG but emphasised that the social (S) aspect is fast gaining traction and importance, predicting that the 'S' will be crucial in the coming decade.
They also shared how their companies are increasingly involving HR, people leaders, and DIBEC experts in delivering on ESG strategies through the lens of diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity, and culture. This includes integrating social responsibility into company cultures, policies, practices, and the 'S' strategy.
They explored challenges organisations commonly face in embedding diversity, inclusion, and social responsibility into their cultures, and the importance of aligning DIBEC efforts with the social aspect of ESG.
The panel delved into the use of metrics and tools to gauge the success of social responsibility efforts within companies. Transparent key performance indicators (KPIs), representation metrics, and measures tied to economic impact were highlighted.
They stressed the importance of taking a long-term view and being clear about the intersections of interests. Aligning societal challenges with the focus on DEI programmes was emphasised, and acknowledged that this intersection creates real magic.
They also shared the importance of an integrated approach, building sustainability into strategies, and storytelling. Also highlighted were successful examples of companies committed to sustainability, from representation to its supply chain, which have integrated DIBEC principles into its ESG practices.
The panel concluded that ESG is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and that companies should tailor their ESG initiatives to their organisational DNA, cultural values, and purpose.
Overall, the panel provided insights into the evolving landscape of ESG, the growing importance of the 'S,' and the integration of DIBEC principles into ESG strategies, showcasing real-world examples and discussing the challenges and considerations involved in achieving success.
“The clarity of direction, transparency, and storytelling are essential components for achieving longevity in social responsibility efforts.”