Ultimate Software and Kronos have announced the formation of the Equity at Work Council (EWC), funded and operated by the Weston-based HR software company. The goal is to ultimately help employers utilize research that explores the development of diverse and inclusive workplaces.
Formed in November 2019, the council will help employers develop evidence-based strategies to facilitate more open, inclusive cultures. This will also include the newly launched Equity at Work Index, which measures drivers of workplace equality. The Equity at Work Index is being developed with the Science of Diversity & Inclusion Initiative; a non-profit focused on the research of diversity and inclusion practices.
"We are encouraged to see so many organizations taking steps toward implementing diversity programs over the last decade. We believe that incorporating the best available science will help organizations realize their goal of truly inclusive workplaces," said Jarik Conrad, Executive Director of the Equity at Work Council.
The announcement arrived off the back of a recent survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which found that 85% of HR professionals in the U.S. had discussed racism with their corporate teams. This follows a surge in protests across the world, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. Notably, 55% of respondents said they had established ongoing discussions about race.
Alongside managers and executives of Ultimate and Kronos, the Equity at Work Council's members will be comprised of professionals from Cornell University, Level Access, Providence Technology Solutions, Claire's, UCLA, and the Houston Astros.
The council has three primary initiatives, which include an annual research study to explore diversity and inclusion, and a series of open-source tools to help organizations identify and overcome barriers that have caused the industry to become homogenous.
Executive Director of Science of Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, Neela Rajendra, hopes that the partnership between her company and the Equity at Work Council will lead to the widespread implementation of diversity and inclusion research. "Transformative insights from research rarely translate to action in organizations," she said. "Our partnership with the Equity at Work Council will help us create tighter collaborations between researchers and companies, which will, in turn, lead to faster discovery, adoption, and traction of evidenced-based methods for success across all sectors."