« Race does not exist…
But race does matter. »
The elephant in the room…
Have you heard about the EU laws on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information?
You can read more on non-financial reporting via the website of the European Commission:
« EU rules require large companies to publish regular reports on the social and environmental impacts of their activities. This helps investors, consumers, policy makers and other stakeholders to evaluate the non-financial performance of large companies and encourages these companies to develop a responsible approach to business.
Directive 2014/95/EU lays down the rules on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by large companies. Companies are required to include non-financial statements in their annual reports from 2018 onwards.
« … disclosure of non-financial information is vital for managing change towards a sustainable global economy by combining long-term profitability with social justice and environmental protection. In this context, disclosure of non-financial information helps the measuring, monitoring and managing of undertakings’ performance and their impact on society. »
1. Companies that must comply
Equality Strategies mentioned in March 2016 that « large public-interest entities (listed companies, banks, insurance undertakings and other companies that are so designated by Member States) with more than 500 employees will be affected. There are two areas of particular interest; the respect for human rights and diversity in board membership. »
2. Information to be disclosed
« Large companies have to publish reports on the policies they implement in relation to
- environmental protection
- social responsibility and treatment of employees
- respect for human rights
- anti-corruption and bribery
- diversity on company boards (in terms of age, gender, educational and professional background) »
« … In providing this information, undertakings which are subject to this Directive may rely on national frameworks, Union-based frameworks such as the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), or international frameworks such as the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights implementing the UN ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the International Organisation for Standardisation’s ISO 26000, the International Labour Organisation’s Tripartite Declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy, the Global Reporting Initiative, or other recognised international frameworks. »
« Article 20 is amended as follows:
|(a)|| in paragraph 1, the following point is added:
3. In the Belgian context
This op-ed ‘La diversité, au delà du genre‘ published in the media L’Echo, the author states that the law on non-financial reporting should contribute to the increase of diversity in board and high management teams.
For policy-makers, diversity means gender, age and competences.
The author finishes by saying (personal translation) that the law did not mention « nationality » as criteria for diversity. « One could regret it as a thoughtful way of developing a business on an international scale is by appointing board members from diverse backgrounds… But ‘our blue chips’ are pretty well equipped. On this matter, corporate Belgium is doing pretty well. »
To be continued…
In your organization,
- Do you have a vision on equity, diversity and inclusion?
- Are you tracking the demographic data of your staff overall? And of your higher management and board?
African proverb: « Rain does not fall on one roof alone. »
Talent has no race!
Born in Congo, I am committed to Equity & Inclusion work. Why do I blog? It is not about me. My passion is to enable others to achieve their potential and to advance equity in the workplace in corporate Brussels.
The ten years old daughter of a friend had the best grades in the classroom. The mother of the kid who always ended up as the second, one day told her something like: « no matter how well you do in school, you will end up like all these black women who clean up toilets, rooms, kitchens in our restaurants, hotels, etc. »
Does your company have an Equity and Inclusion agenda?
What is successful and what is challenging you?