Improve inclusion with the Responsible Business Tracker®

Post author image. Lucy Dwyer
Lucy Dwyer, Insights and Innovation Manager at Business in the Community, explains how the Responsible Business Tracker® can improve your organisation’s diversity and create a more inclusive workplace.

Developed through consultation with over 200 businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government and international partners, Business in the Community’s (BITC) Responsible Business Tracker® is an essential measurement tool for businesses taking responsibility seriously.

Your organisation or sector may call this work corporate responsibility (CR), corporate social responsibility (CSR), environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, sustainability or corporate citizenship. At BITC we call it responsible business.

“Diversity and inclusion are both critical in order for us to deliver for customers and clients today”

Stephen Bird, CEO, Standard Life Aberdeen

Participation it the Responsible Business Tracker® is included in BITC membership. It is also open to non-members who want to assess their performance and progress against BITC’s Responsible Business Map. The map is built on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals.

Why diverse and inclusive workforces are more vital than ever

It is vital for everyone to feel included at work. Throughout March 2021, BITC is sharing new resources and best practice examples to support companies to achieve this. This builds on our Everyday Inclusion research and recommendations which found non-inclusive behaviours have a negative impact on wellbeing and wider performance.

COVID-19 has had disproportionately negative impacts on women, older people, younger workers, and those from marginalised groups1. BITC knows from previous Tracker cycles that businesses were concerned about diversity and inclusion before this. In the aftermath of the pandemic it is imperative that businesses continue to be mindful of how their activities effect these groups.

“Diversity and inclusion are both critical in order for us to deliver for customers and clients today” said Stephen Bird, CEO, Standard Life Aberdeen. “They help our business address society’s big concerns and better respond to the needs of our customers – as well as making Standard Life Aberdeen a great place to be, where people are valued for who they are.” Standard Life Aberdeen have demonstrated their commitment to improving workplace equality of opportunity by signing BITC’s Race at Work Charter.

Businesses that exceed legal minimum requirements by taking inclusive approaches to recruitment, retention, and development. They also build more diverse teams, benefit from wider talent pools and access a greater breadth of ideas and experience. Creating fair opportunities for everyone is not only good for society, but also vital to ensuring long-term business success.

How the Responsible Business Tracker® can propel your business to better diversity and inclusion practice

Completing the Tracker process can help your business stay competitve at a time of major change. It also enhances reputation and brand favourability by reflecting changing consumer attitudes. Participating businesses gain access to gap analysis, benchmarking against sector peers and other participants. Through a scoring mechanism, there is also the opportunity for recognition of leading practice, improvement and innovation.

Having participated in the Tracker, Lloyds Banking Group developed a sponsorship programme to nurture and progress its home-grown talent while developing their transferable skills. The programme paired talented middle-management women with influential leaders to support them towards their next key role. The programme produced exceptional results. Women achieved promotion to senior management roles at a rate five times greater than the Group average for female progression.

Other businesses have found that the Tracker has helped bring colleagues together by developing a sense of shared purpose. Gemma Piggott, Community & Sustainability Director at JLL, says “doing an exercise like this really helped reinforce the sense of collective responsibility when it comes to being a responsible business. It is helpful and powerful to be able to consult with others in the business around how their department is doing.”

By conducting a thorough, holistic progress review against leading peers, the Tracker helps businesses better understand where they need to improve. “It was great to get validation of what we did well, but equally important for us that understanding of what our weaker areas were and comparing those to that benchmark” says Andy Brown, Head of Sustainability at Anglian Water.

Looking to improve? Take part today

We know that taking the first steps on your journey towards greater responsibility can be daunting. No matter the size of your business, or how much time you have been able to invest previously in thinking about responsible business, the Tracker can help you identify what works, and clarify your priorities. “Don’t be discouraged from participating, even if your organisation is in the early stages of the sustainability journey”, says Chris Duffy, Commercial Business Partner at Cardiff and Vale College. “I think it is equally beneficial to the small companies on that first stage of the journey as is it to organisations who have a more mature programme in place.”

Completing the Responsible Business Tracker® gives you a better understanding of how your business compares to peers, and can help you plan a pathway to improving your approach to diversity and inclusion. If you are a BITC member, contact your Relationship Manager or our Membership Team to discuss how the Tracker can support your responsible business ambitions.

If you are not a member of Business in the Community, contact the Responsible Business Tracker® team for more information.

We can take you further on your responsible business journey

References

  1. House of Commons Library (2021) Research Briefing Coronavirus: Impact on the labour market, 25 February, 2021, available at https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8898/