Diversity and Inclusion on the ESG Agenda

por The Winners
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Jandaraci Araújo

Board Member and co-founder of Board 101. She is Board Member Emeritus of Conscious Capitalism Brazil. She was Undersecretary of Entrepreneurship and Director of Banco do Povo in São Paulo (2019-2020)

If society is essentially heterogeneous, why do organizations insist on being homogeneous? How can a company be competitive, innovative, and longevous without the ebullience of diverse thoughts proposing disruptive solutions? And how does the agenda of diversity and inclusion connect with the ESG parameters? To begin with, companies are made of people and for people. Companies from the Jandaraci Araújo most varied sectors have already understood that diversity and inclusion actions are necessary for the success and resilience of their businesses. On one hand the “customers” are attentive, and every day more engaged in consuming or relating to ethical companies with a clear purpose. On the other hand, investors value not only the profit, but also the social and environmental impact of the companies They invest in. This is ESG (Enviromental,Social and Governance) in practice, the three letters that have become trendy topics when it comes to sustainable investments. The theme of diversity encompasses both the Social and the Governance pillars. From the Social perspective, diversity and inclusion actions help in the fulfillment of three of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals): goals 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and 10 (Reducing Inequalities). In the Governance pillar, it is the composition and diversity of the board of directors that contemplates the importance of adopting an aligned agenda generates a series of positive impacts for the business besides attracting investors. Diversity and inclusion strategies generate value in the short, medium, and long term. Companies composed of people with different perspectives provide the disruptive innovation that different backgrounds and origins catalyze. Furthermore, according to the study DDI, an analysis and research firm, and Ernst & Young (EY) shows that companies that had 30% gender diversity – and more than 20% at the senior level – had better financial results compared to others. Where there is significant diversity, there is a 1.4 greater chance of sustained, profitable growth. And the question is: What is missing to have more diversity at all levels of the organization, from the most basic level to the board of directors? We are on a path that does not allow for retrogression or practices such as “diversity washing”. Diversity is innovation, inclusion is perpetuity. There is no more time to procrastinate on this agenda, the time is now.

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