ATLANTA, June 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new study released today found that while diversity and inclusion are becoming more mainstream in the Atlanta business community, the majority of organizations need better data and metrics to make these changes sustainable. Forty-six percent of respondents said they needed clearer D&I performance indicators, on data including the number of promotions for women. With North American headquarters in Atlanta, Sage – the market leader in cloud business management solutions – commissioned the report which reveals a significant increase in education, training and awareness for employees as indicators of this change, with 69% of Atlanta-based organizations actively making updates to their diversity and inclusion (D&I) processes to foster a more inclusive workplace.

The report uncovered three central findings:

  • The need for better data and metrics
  • More honest and open dialogue
  • Stronger corporate-civic partnerships

“Since the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta has had a long-standing tradition of partnering with the private sector on addressing issues of race, equity, diversity and inclusion. This has been a large part of our region's collective success and why Atlanta is home to some of the most progressive companies in the world," said Reese McCranie, Deputy Chief Equity Officer, City of Atlanta. "Mayor Bottoms is committed to strengthening these partnerships with our corporate leaders, and she knows that a more progressive business environment drives our competitive edge and helps with recruiting and retaining world-class talent. Furthermore, having a more diverse and inclusive workforce is just the right thing to do. There are many opportunities for the city of Atlanta and the Mayor's Office to work together on solving our shared challenges and I look forward to deepening these conversations and relationships.”

“Sage is proud to operate in Atlanta and recognizes that commitment comes with a responsibility to help foster greater social, economic and workplace conditions in the communities we serve,” said Nancy Harris, Managing Director at Sage North America. “Our report finds that Atlanta’s business leaders are ready to enact decisions that are more equitable and fair, and they need better data, dialogue and partnerships to support these newfound priorities. We are privileged to be in a position to help take these priorities forward.”

Among the key findings, additional research reveals:

  • A Need for Better Data and Standardized Metrics: More than 60% of organizations measure the diversity of their workforce, but less than half measure the ability status, or an employee’s acquired diversity, such as military experience or language skills. Data shows that the pace of technological innovation must keep stride with the rapid diversification of Atlanta’s population. In order to create sustainable policies and promote diverse leaders, organizations agreed they need data collection and reporting tools that are accurately measuring workforce diversity.

    Additionally, 46% of respondents reported that they want clearer D&I performance indicators, such as increased number of women promoted. They also look for business resource groups (BRGs) to support colleagues and friends (e.g., LGBTQIA+ BRGs), as well as greater clarity regarding how company metrics are used to implement change and how success is measured. 
  • More Opportunities for Honest and Open Dialogue: Organizations understand they are in a position to create impactful policies that both uphold company values and ensure colleagues from diverse communities have an opportunity to lead in their respective departments. More than half of respondents (54%) believe it is necessary to have more internal resources to support D&I efforts, increased communication of progress, more external resources to support D&I efforts (i.e., partnerships, sponsorships) and increased employee participation in outreach and tracking efforts. Nearly half (46%) also say increased education and awareness for leaders and colleagues is needed.

    Open and honest dialogue within the company and the diversification of partnerships will enable leadership to make the best decisions and communicate to their employees which policies and practices are most effective.

    Human resource departments and senior leadership both agree that the policies and practices must be created, but the execution, measurement of progress, and who participates in the process remain unclear. Mechanisms must be created to ensure organizations are working across departments to achieve common goals.
  • Stronger Corporate-City Partnerships: All senior leader report participants view D&I as an investment in the future of the city, the state and the country. Yet, partnerships and programs between the private and public sector are only the beginning. In order to sustain these partnerships and the changes they create; the public and private sectors must identify the common ground between business goals and public priorities. For example, mutual benefits are found in actively training and mentoring youth. Over 61% of participating organizations have internal mentorship programs, including seeking partnerships with local educational institutions, such as colleges and universities, to create opportunities for the next generation.

The Diversity & Inclusion Report in Atlanta: What Works and What We Need to Do In Order to Thrive was developed with input from established Indicators in The Opportunity Index and 100 Resilient Cities reports to measure the diversity and inclusion climate within Atlanta. The Opportunity Index is an evaluation framework designed by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) that is used by cities across the globe. It measures a city’s ability to respond to economic, environmental, social, and political threats.

The report is available for download here.

About Sage
Sage is the global market leader for technology that helps businesses of all sizes manage everything from money to people – whether they’re a start-up, scale-up or enterprise. We do this through Sage Business Cloud - the one and only business management solution that customers will ever need, comprising Accounting, Financials, Sage Intacct, Enterprise Management, People & Payroll and Payments & Banking.

Press contact:
Victoria Borges
PR Manager, North America
Sage
Office: 470-447-4086
Victoria.Borges@Sage.com