ESG reporting and the challenge of diversity data collection in Europe

UN CFO Taskforce member Jill Klindt talks about ESG disclosure challenges for SMEs and the need for all firms to produce consistent, auditable data.

'ESG is beyond Emissions'

Companies need to collect consistent ESG data, including diversity data, to measure progress. Klindt believes that some level of enforcement at the regulatory level is needed, with greater international standardization of disclosure norms.

"You cannot expect to have diverse candidates coming out of a system that is not set up to promote diverse candidates" she said.

Workiva has focused its efforts on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion metrics, partnering with a female-founded startup PowerToFly in the US to help increase access to tech industry jobs to women and underrepresented candidates.

DEI data collection is not as straightforward in Europe since the enforcement of the EU general data protection regulation (GDPR) in 2018. As a result, few European corporates currently disclose diversity data or even self-identification surveys to collect it.

For Klindt, international regulators need to continuously promote consistent disclosure standards around ESG data. Providing a global benchmark, she says, would give companies a place to start.

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