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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Shaping an inclusive global economy by scaling impactful corporate DEI initiatives

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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

  • In a volatile global environment characterized by rapid change, anchoring equity and inclusion is increasingly critical for reviving growth, accelerating innovation and fostering resilience.
  • Through its annual DEI Lighthouse Programme, the World Economic Forum, together with an independent expert panel, in 2023 and 2024 surfaced two cohorts of corporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives for their demonstrated impact.
  • As of January 2024, the Forum’s DEI Lighthouse repository includes 15 Lighthouse case studies, featuring successful programmes that stand out for their ambition and impact as well as 13 highlighted initiatives that feature innovative and promising design principles.

Surfacing impactful DEI initiatives.

In the past two years, the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the New Economy and Society has accompanied more than 70 companies in their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) journeys and identified, surfaced and highlighted impactful DEI initiatives globally through its DEI Lighthouse Programme.

The 2024 DEI Lighthouse Insight Report features the latest cohort of DEI initiatives selected by an independent expert panel for having achieved significant, scalable, quantifiable and sustained impact for one or multiple underrepresented groups.

The DEI Lighthouse repository, comprising the 2023 and 2024 cohorts, currently includes 15 DEI Lighthouses, as well as 13 cases, highlighted for their promising and innovative design features, from across industries and geographies.

The objective of the DEI Lighthouse programme is to surface and scale effective initiatives, equipping leaders with the necessary insights to contribute to faster DEI impact across the global business community and policy-making space, and ultimately shaping more inclusive economies for all.

What are the challenges?

The world faces a multitude of challenges in 2024. Economic volatility, geopolitical tensions and high levels of inequality persist, while technological disruptions and risks associated with a rapid green transition are displacing workers and undermining skills.

The Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2024 highlights the long road ahead to close the economic gender gap, which currently stands at 134 years to parity. Economic gaps faced by people of colour, people with disabilities and people who identify as LGBTQI+ are equally significant and often exacerbated in their intersections.

Our approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Amid these complexities, anchoring diversity and inclusion in the business world and global economy is becoming increasingly critical for reviving growth, accelerating innovation, reducing inequalities and bolstering resilience.

The business community possesses significant leverage to proactively design and support measures that promote more resilient, vibrant and inclusive economies.

Have you read?

Research consistently demonstrates the long-term benefits of inclusive policy making and sustained diversity and inclusion programmes, making inclusion not just a moral imperative, but also a strategic one that promotes sustainable growth and resilience in the face of global risks and challenges.

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The seven DEI Lighthouses featured in the DEI Lighthouses Insight Report 2024 were selected by an independent expert panel for their demonstrated impact and ability to inspire others. The Report features detailed case studies, highlighting key success factors for each of the initiatives.

Banco Pichincha

Closing the financing gap between men and women in Ecuador by changing internal policies, designing products and services specific for women, and issuing gender bonds for women entrepreneurs.

  • Between December 2020 and May 2023, company has closed the financing gap between men and women by 16%
  • Currently, women represent 48% of their 4 million customers.
  • In the microfinance segment, women represent 56% of customers.

HEINEKEN

Increasing representation of women in sales through efforts put towards attraction, retention and development of women in the function as well as the facilitation of an inclusive workplace.

  • Representation of women senior managers in the sales function grew from 9% in 2020 to 19% in 2022.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX)

Advancing gender diversity in boards of issuers listed on HKEX by banning single-gender boards and regulating minimum board gender diversity requirements of issuers and listing applicants.

  • Percentage of female directors on boards of listed issuers increased from 14.6% in 2020 to 17.3% (as of August 2023).
  • Percentage of listed issuers with no female director decreased from 31.5% in 2020 to 21.4% (as of August 2023).

Ingka Group (IKEA)

Achieving a 50/50 gender balance and pay equity across all their business.

  • 50.2% of all manager positions across the company are occupied by women.
  • 48% of country CEO positions are occupied by women.
  • Pay gender gap currently tracks under 5% across organization, in all levels.

McKinsey & Company

A reboarding programme to ensure that all colleagues are well supported from periods of absence greater than 12 weeks by providing them with support and resources to ensure successful re-entry and, by doing so, reducing attrition gaps between them and the rest of the firm.

  • 20% decline in attrition among EU consultant mothers returning from leave.
  • Since 2019, 1,100 European parents have benefitted from the programme (600 European consultant mothers).
  • Over the past year, scaled programme to all their offices. To date, more than 1,500 colleagues globally have qualified to use the programme.

PepsiCo

Promoting LGBTQI+ inclusion and awareness by launching a global self-ID campaign, leveraging technological tools and trainings that incentivize self-ID across the entire business.

  • Over 12,400 employees across 33 countries have voluntarily self-IDed their sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • About 63,000 employees globally across 71 countries have updated how their name is displayed to their preferred name
  • 7,400 employees across 36 countries shared their pronouns.

Salesforce

Connecting employees with internal coaches and thought partners for confidential discussions, which help overcome systemic barriers affecting their experience, career, or sense of belonging.

  • Since 2020, the programme has supported over 2,400 employees, with a proven high degree of transformative impact at the individual level.
  • Salesforce shared anonymized feedback with business leadership, which has fuelled several new internal DEI initiatives.

How to get involved.

Hosted by the Centre for the New Economy and Society, the DEI Lighthouse Programme is an annual effort designed to identify impactful corporate initiatives from the corporate ecosystem.

The next opportunity for organizations to submit impactful DEI initiatives will be the 2024/25 DEI Lighthouse Programme, opening for submissions in April 2024.

For more information on the DEI Lighthouse programme, please contact us.

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Partners:
HEINEKENHong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX)Ingka Group (IKEA)McKinsey & CompanyPepsiCoSalesforce
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