Race Equality Awards 2017- Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Leadership Taking Strategic Action Towards Diversity and Inclusion

At Enterprise, diversity has always been a cornerstone of company culture. With more than 450 UK locations, it’s imperative that Enterprise is as diverse as the community it serves and that an inclusive work environment is provided where employees feel valued. Increasingly research shows that companies with diverse talent and an inclusive culture serve their clients better, innovate more and have stronger employer brands, which is why senior leaders have taken strategic action to set the tone from the top.

Recently Enterprise has pushed diversity to the top of its management agenda by overhauling its long-standing commitment to diversity and putting due focus on each area of diversity, including ethnicity. This focus starts at the most senior level and then cascades down to regional and local management. A senior director now leads improvement in each of six diversity strands to ensure an emphasis on each area, and each develops a unique strategy that is bespoke to each strand, ensuring real impact. At a regional level, committees supported by new communications tools dedicated to diversity ensure the message reaches every corner of the organisation.

As each branch location makes its own decision regarding employee development, promotion and workforce development, Enterprise wanted to ensure diversity was a priority at every stage from recruitment to career progression and beyond. Leadership performance also needed to be measured, so the Diversity Scorecard was introduced. The scorecard ensures all senior executives have a tangible framework to measure their diversity and inclusion programmes.

The Diversity Scorecard is a 25-page annual benchmarking tool which was developed by a team of senior executives and enables leadership to evaluate diversity and share best practice. It also provides clarity on company expectations for diversity and inclusion, which are key parts of Enterprise’s cultural compass. The Scorecard looks at 12 core areas where a diverse approach can have the most impact, including leadership commitment and development, performance accountability, supplier diversity and advancing talent. Each area is then broken down into subsections which help senior leaders formulate initiatives to demonstrate the importance of a diverse business and measure the impact.

Results of the Scorecard are communicated through quarterly meetings with the UK Managing Director and HR Director and via posts on the internal intranet site. It also forms part of the curriculum in diversity training, which is mandatory for all managers, and elements of the guide are included in annual performance reviews. Additionally, the Scorecard is a critical element of Enterprise’s Founding Values Award, the most coveted award directors can receive for business achievements. It is crucial for determining how senior leaders’ performance is measured and holding them accountable for diversity initiatives in their areas.

Between 2012 and 2017, the percentage of BAME UK employees has increased from 17.5% to 20.8% and the percentage of BAME managers has risen from 14% to 17.3%. Additionally, the percentage of BAME new hires has increased from 22% to 28.1%, and 5% of UK directors are BAME including the Managing Director and Financial Director.

The Scorecard has pushed Enterprise to widen its inclusive recruitment efforts to 100+ UK universities and enabled the organisation to enhance its involvement in widening participation programmes. Best practice shared by real-life case studies submitted by senior executives has also broadened Enterprise’s mentoring reach and increased opportunities for BAME regional events.

A diversity activity tool has been created to increase accountability and measure diversity involvement. Since its launch in October 2016, 15 BAME events have been recorded which impacted more than 330 employees.

The Scorecard has helped leaders enable better partnerships with customers, increase mentoring of BAME organisation such as Bridge Builders and Global Diversity Practice, and improve leadership engagement with BAME networks. In 2014, a committee comprised of senior management was launched focussing on attracting and retaining BAME employees, forming a relationship with BAME-owned companies and increasing awareness of different faiths and cultures within the business. The Scorecard has also helped secure budget to support Business in the Community’s Race at Work survey, the most extensive piece on race in the UK today.