Innodiversity or how to jointly manage diversity and innovation in companies

Innodiversity or how to jointly manage diversity and innovation in companies

The number of companies that have made progress in managing diversity and innovation has increased over the past two years, especially during the pandemic: 60% of companies admit to having devoted more human, economic and organizational resources to managing inclusion and stimulating innovation during this period.

This is one of the data derived from the second “Innodiversity Index 2021”, carried out by the Fundacin para la Diversidad, an organization responsible for promoting diversity management in Spain and the IE Foundation of IE University, in collaboration with HP and Pfizer.

Innodiversity, a concept invented by the authors of the study, Celia de Anca, vice-dean of ethics, diversity and inclusion at IE University, and Salvador Aragn, director general of innovation at IE University, increases the competitiveness of the organization, based on the ability of companies to jointly manage diversity and innovation. In Spain, 38% of companies already have policies for their management. A percentage that varies according to the size of the company: 44% of large Spanish companies already have policies in this area; ten points above the 2019 value, followed by small (36%) and medium-sized (26%).

“Innovation and diversity are two inseparable pillars. The diversity of teams stimulates creativity and innovation, which are decisive factors in improving the efficiency and competitiveness of companies. Focusing on the management of innodiversity only brings benefits to companies, regardless of their size and industry, ”said Sergio Rodrguez, CEO of Pfizer Spain.

More and more business leaders assume that one of the greatest strengths of organizations is the talent and diversity of the people who make them up, and pay more attention to these aspects. In addition, most companies are working to intensify their innovation policies, with the aim of improving their competitiveness.

“We live in a diverse society and businesses need to mirror our society to attract talent, connect with the new consumer and convey new ideas and solutions that positively influence our environment and people. Digitization has brought new ways of understanding companies and teams. Only the union of Innovation and Diversity will be the catalyst to generate an ecosystem of social and economic growth, capable of responding to the challenges that we must face in order to build a better future ”, adds Helena Herrero, President of HP for Southern Europe.

The pandemic as an opportunity to progress in diversity and innovation

The crisis caused by Covid-19 has also been observed in the field of diversity and innovation. But contrary to what one might think, the health crisis has been a boost in terms of improvement efforts in these areas. In response to the new social and economic environment, the Spanish business fabric has seen innovation as the key tool to adapt to the new business ecosystem, and 74% of companies are already managing it in some of its forms, thanks to the use of new technologies. technologies and the creation of specific equipment.

If we pay attention to what are the processes in which companies innovate the most, we can see how they have multiplied innovation in the business model, in response to the new crisis environment, with the aim of exploring new proposals for values ​​that allow them to compete in an increasingly demanding market. Thus, to be present in 57% of companies, it rose to 66%. Companies have discovered that they can be disruptive and they seek to bring about significant change in the marketplace, using innovation.

Likewise, the Spanish economic fabric has strengthened its commitment to innovation of internal processes, which rose to 71%, followed by the generation of new products or services to adapt its offer to current needs (70%), and management customer relations, a process in which 68% of companies are already innovating.

On the other hand, if we focus on the type of diversity, it is particularly striking how much 87% of companies have focused on managing gender diversity; The commitment to the diversity of people with disabilities (73%) and senior talents (71%) come next in the ranking, which ends the interest in the talent of staff belonging to the LGTBI collective (45%) .

“One of the effects of the pandemic has been to make people and their care a priority. And this has also been understood by the organizations, their leaders and the governance policies developed, who have worked to move forward in improving the well-being of their employees, at the same time improving the management of diversity and inclusion. », Concludes Eugenia Girn Dvila, President of the Foundation for Diversity.

The company based in Spain is committed to senior talent

If we compare the figures of the study with those obtained in 2019, we can see how all the parameters have changed, given the greater interest of Spanish companies in the management of diversity in all groups: the interest for senior talent rose somewhat by more than six points. compared to 2019, and now stands at 71.4%, especially in large companies, where it rose from 56% to 70% in 2021.

For its part, interest in managing the talent of people with disabilities also increased, albeit more slightly, from 72.1% to 73.4%. Regarding the interest in managing diversity, it continues to be the one with the highest figures, despite the fact that it has not changed significantly compared to 2019, and remains at 87.2 %.

This means that more and more companies are putting in place concrete actions to manage inclusion policies, and tools that allow them to quantify their impact on the collective: more than 74% of large companies have indicators to measure the impact of gender policies, while 51% measure the management of the group of people with disabilities and 38% do so with the group of seniors.

“The company in the Spanish context believes in diversity and manages it to put it at the service of innovation. The Innodiversity Report shows that the key to navigating the turbulent times in which we live is the collaboration between diversity units and innovation units that will allow companies to come to fruition ”, underline Celia de Anca and Salvador Aragn , responsible for the report.

However, despite the progress of all indicators in the index, another area that companies should pay close attention to is LGTBI talent management. For yet another year, commitment to this group in the workplace is at its lowest: only 45.5% of companies pay particular attention to their inclusion in work environments; a slight decrease in large companies, despite its increase compared to 2019, from 40.4% to 44.9%.

And while companies are strengthening their LGTBI talent inclusion policies, with measures such as safe procedures to deal with possible cases of discrimination, or courses and events to raise awareness and eliminate prejudice, they still have a lot of work to do: just 27% of companies have tools to measure the real impact of these policies on the collective.

The Spanish company: expert in diversity management

The study, in which 297 companies of all sizes and fields participated, and with the collaboration of AmChamSpain and the Franco-Spanish Chamber for dissemination to its associated companies, reveals that all the indicators that make up the Innodiversity index have increased: diversity, innovation and innodiversity.

Using the diversity tree, a research tool that allows companies to make a diagnosis of their own organization and to make decisions to correct errors and improve their competitiveness, the report analyzes the degree of maturity of companies in these domains, and classifies them into four categories: non-engaged, engaged, expert and referent.

The results show that companies based in Spain have reached the category of expert in diversity management, exceeding the qualification obtained in the 2019 study; while in the management of innovation it reaffirms its status as an expert. Regarding the management of innodiversity, she obtained the qualification of committed, demonstrating that it is precisely in this area that she has the greatest opportunity for improvement.

If we focus on innovation, companies in the Energy and Water, Financial Services, Professional Services and Technology sectors have reached the highest category of analysis, and are positioned as benchmark companies in this field, through their efforts to develop policies and innovation, which also allows them to become a model for other companies.

“Moving forward in diversity and inclusion is a tremendous opportunity that we must take advantage of to promote societal change and more sustainable economic growth. For this, it is also essential to move forward with innovation policies, which make it possible to boost competitiveness. The Spanish company is more and more aware of the importance of its value, so we must continue to work on its implementation and on specific tools that allow us to quantify the change ”, adds Giuseppe Tringali, vice-president International Advisory Board ie.

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