We’re excited to share some of the results of our second annual ESG survey, which we use to collect data on how our customers (our portfolio companies) are performing against an array of ESG benchmarks. With an 87% participation rate, the responses our customers provided are critical to helping us better understand their ESG priorities, how they are progressing against industry benchmarks and where there are opportunities to create new programs to collectively address common challenges going forward.
This year for the first time, the survey results revealed insights about The Collective, a collaborative working group methodology that we have established hand-in-hand with our customers to accelerate the adoption of ESG best practices. The Collective first formed in 2020 to co-create solutions to ESG challenges that are:
- Action-oriented: The group wanted to find solutions they could actually implement.
- Metrics-focused: The solutions are measurable and should remove barriers for diverse employees and candidates.
- Efficient and value-added: The work has to fit within existing company growth and operational objectives.
- Performance-driven: The outcomes need to contribute to company performance.
The first area the Collective chose to focus on was diversity, inclusion, belonging, and equity (DIBE) practices at their companies.
In addition to looking at key findings the survey revealed about the DIBE Collective group, we also outline some of the biggest opportunities we see to use the same Collective approach to address other ESG challenges.
The Collective’s Outsized Impact
The DIBE Collective formed when our CEO working group identified talent acquisition and retention as a key challenge in their DIBE efforts. Soon after, talent executives from 18 Georgian companies created the first Collective group to build DIBE resources that their peers could act on.
After spending months on collaborative projects, we used our learnings to launch the DIBE Enablement Center in October 2021. Aimed at helping companies attract and retain the best talent, these resources, which include strategic frameworks for equitable compensation and practical tools to boost inclusive hiring, are available to all our customers.
And they’re working. Our survey data suggests that a sustained focus on DIBE practices, such as inclusive hiring and equitable compensation, has a significant impact on talent KPIs like employee engagement, turnover, and representation.
Employees at Collective companies rated their engagement at work 9% higher than their peers.
Despite higher overall turnover in 2021, Collective companies had lower turnover of women (-3%) and racially visible persons (-17%) relative to their overall company turnover rate.
Representation of women increased by 18% and racially visible employees by 24% at Collective companies in 2021.
Cybersecurity Presents Opportunities for the Year Ahead
The results we saw reinforced our belief in collaborating closely with our customers to create innovative solutions to purpose-related challenges that both Georgian and our customers can use.
In 2022, we are growing the Collective so that we can support, learn, and grow alongside our customers, tackling the issues that are most relevant to high-growth companies. Our next major initiative will apply the Collective model to help our companies combat cyber-risk.
The National Association of Corporate Directors, an organization of 23,000 directors dedicated to setting standards of excellence for corporate governance, has identified cyber-risk as one of the greatest threats to enterprise value. Many boards, both public and private, aren’t sufficiently equipped to address it.
To get ahead of this issue, so far over 60% of our portfolio has committed to working on the Cybersecurity Initiative for Board Reporting (CIBR) collective — and we expect participation to increase in 2022 and beyond. The goal of the program is to empower cybersecurity leaders with the tools and skills to effectively report on their company’s cybersecurity objectives, systems, and preparedness to their boards of directors.
We’re inspired by what the collectives are already achieving and look forward to sharing our progress as we find new opportunities for improvement in the future.