Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is on top of many organisations’ agendas, in both private and public sectors across the world. D&I is particularly important in South Africa, where the legacy of exclusion is still prevalent. To address this in the workplace, the South African government has designed legislation prescribing targets that are largely based on race and gender. However, progress remains inadequate with many organisations struggling to diversify their workforces.
This report unpacks the scale of, and potential reasons for, the diversity gap in South African companies, while highlighting that D&I can support business growth and performance. This, however, requires moving away from a tick-box mentality towards acknowledging D&I as an investment opportunity that drives value beyond compliance, i.e. aligning economic performance with social progress. The report, furthermore, outlines the importance of having the right mindset and leadership alongside a systemic approach to drive the needed culture change, and thus ensure meaningful D&I.