This global, Fortune 500 FMCG business employs over 40,000 people in175 countries and was rated one of the ‘World’s 25 Best Multinational Workplaces’ by the Great Place to Work Institute. At YSC we believe that Diversity and Inclusion is a talent and leadership issue. We work with clients to provide unique insights on their diverse talent, reassure executives so that they feel bold enough to take bigger bets on different people and provide unique development experiences that enable leaders to become genuinely inclusive.
With a vision to recruit and retain top female talent by ensuring that relevant training opportunities exist and that barriers to success are removed, YSC was engaged to deploy our Career Navigation Diagnostic across the business’s top and emerging female talent in Asia-Pacific. Aware of YSC’s research with the 30% Club, (Cracking the Code, a report which reveals the myths associated with the barriers and enablers of women’s success in UK organisations), our client sought comparison to global and regional norms and exposure to cutting-edge thinking in diversity and inclusion. The industry consistently faces difficulties in retaining women in leadership positions.
YSC partnered with the client to design a bespoke diagnostic process that felt sensitive to gender and cultural issues. The first steps involved:
- The Career Navigation Survey: with 1400 employees (of which 56% were women) across 13 countries in Asia-Pac to identify differing or overlapping experiences of men and women as they navigate their careers.
- Focus groups and one-on-one interviews: were designed using the survey findings and key input from the client’s Diversity & Inclusion Council on organisational cultural nuances and important areas to probe. These were to tap into attitudes, experiences and feelings of the interviewees.
The second stage focussed on addressing the identified important areas to investigate:
- Interviews with high potential women that had left the organisation: To supplement the views from current employees and explored the reasons behind their decisions to leave and what the organisation could have done to keep them.
- We collected relevant and accessible organisational data: Employee career moves and turnover, promotion and salary statistics, to provide a view on the reality of what’s actually happening and insight into potential unconscious biases present in the organisation.
- Comprehensive and robust executive reports: Created from synthesised data from each of these streams of analysis to bring to light the most significant findings and associated short-, medium- and long-term recommendations. Regional stakeholders helped us to create tailored reports for each critical region comparing diagnostic findings with existing industry-specific economic statistics. Each country was given an effectiveness rating across five key areas and supplementary recommendations around strengths to leverage and opportunities to invest in.
- The greatest opportunities identified for the organisation moving forward were in providing greater support in the form of mentoring, sponsorship, coaching, and leadership development programs, as well as in making flexible ways of working less of a privilege and more of a cultural norm.
- We found that the greatest drivers and barriers to success were the attitudes and behaviours of individual managers, and that what is needed is consistent application of good talent management principles across all employees.
- Perhaps the most challenging finding was that not everyone in the business understands the business case for diversity and the cost of not prioritising female talent.
- Our recommendations for the business in moving forward with their diversity agenda included providing mechanisms for female talent to feel more supported, shifting flexible ways of working from an ad-hoc privilege to ‘the way we work’ and running sessions about the business case for diversity as part of an Inclusive Leadership program.