At Elevate, people are integral to all that we do. Because of this, we highly value diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) and believe that they have an essential role in creating a productive and positive work environment.
That’s why, since 2013, we’ve been conducting research into our own DE&I. The survey itself is designed to help us understand how employees feel about DE&I and highlight any areas that need improvement. This blog shares the key results from our 2023 DE&I report and what we’ve learned from them.
The survey was conducted across our international offices (apart from France) with results that include our field-force teams and our permanent head office staff. Results varied according to region, but we were able to draw averages and see where more active policies might be needed. Some areas in this version of the survey were investigated for the first time, in these cases we drew comparisons with the wider industry. For most questions, we could make a direct comparison with our results from last year.
At Elevate these surveys are not a PR exercise, they’re a tool to help us identify what needs to change, quantify policies that work and measure both our successes and the challenges we face.
A strong focus on improving the representation of people from different ethnic backgrounds has been successful. Diversity within our workforce has improved; The number of Black employees, increased from 10% to 12.5% in recent years, including a 23% increase in the UK and US regions. We have also employed more Middle Eastern/South Asian and East Asian people, with an average increase of 2.5% across offices from each market.
This means there’s been an 8% increase overall in the representation of people of colour within the company, which is a good step in the right direction.
We created a bespoke Elevate Purpose training course which features a module on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion including an introduction to DE&I, understanding allyship, psychological safety and empathetic communication. We also have a dedicated DE&I committee which anyone is welcome to join.
We believe having people from diverse backgrounds, sharing their ideas and cultures allow us to see things from different perspectives and ultimately better serve both our staff and clients.
At Elevate we recognise the importance of promoting gender diversity and creating an inclusive workplace. Currently, the number of board members has remained consistent at 64% male and 36% female.
Despite not meeting the FTSE target this year, we are committed to advancing gender diversity across all levels of our organisation.
In the UK and US, people who identify as transgender accounted for 0.7% of the respondents which is consistent with the WFA Census results. Across our field teams, however, the number of women employed increased by 8% compared to 2022 which is a positive sign in levelling out the playing field.
The overall increase in women in HQ was only 1.5% Therefore, we remain committed to achieving greater gender balance at the top levels of the organisation and throughout.
Living with a Disability
We recognise that the number of people who identify as having a disability is growing. In 2022, 5% of our total staff identified as having a disability; by 2023, that number increased to 8%. The US and UK markets saw the largest increase in disability representation, rising from 5% of total field staff in 2022 to 10% today. One of our company targets was to have at least 5% of employees and event staff that have declared having a disability by 2027, a target that has already been exceeded.
We’ve implemented various resources to ensure employees with disabilities have equal access and participate fully in the workplace. We have partnered with Spill so that all internal staff have accessible therapy, as well as private medical insurance. Elevate also has a fantastic team of specially appointed Mental Health First Aiders to support and guide employees if they need it.
Value, Respect and Working at Elevate
This area of the survey relates to our core values and how they’re embraced throughout the business. Results show that 91% of those asked feel respected and valued by their managers – an 8% increase from last year.
When it comes to celebrating diversity and ideas – 43% of respondents weren’t sure about whether Elevate does this and 48% of those feel we do. To make sure we’re always celebrating diversity, we have a Global Social Committee which ensures various awareness days and cultural events are acknowledged. For example, for Black History Month in the UK last year, employees used the monthly Breakfast Club to host a session that helped people understand Conscious and Unconscious Bias. We’re committed to making voices heard and giving everyone an opportunity to contribute to the success of the business.
Why DE&I matters more than ever
Conducting this DE&I survey has been an eye-opener for our company, and we’re proud to have taken this crucial step toward creating a truly inclusive and equitable workplace. We’re strongly focused on areas that need improvement, and we’re excited to address these critical issues meaningfully. As a company, we’re committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level, and we encourage other organisations to do the same. We understand that the work is ongoing, and we are committed to this work for the long term. We look forward to continuing to share our progress and lessons as we go.
To find out how we did in other areas, you can read the full report now.