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Aligning benefits inclusivity in a dynamic world

June 23, 2023

A focus on DEI is a business necessity for sustainable talent, wellbeing, meeting ESG commitments and better business outcomes. Action-oriented commitment to DEI is a competitive differentiator.
Health and Benefits|Inclusion-and-Diversity

A focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a business necessity for sustainable talent, wellbeing, meeting ESG commitments and better business outcomes. DEI matters to talent and their experience, consumers, stakeholders, investors, and communities.

Action-oriented commitment to DEI is a competitive differentiator.

Insights from WTW research

  • 72%[1] of employers in Canada indicates that DEI is the largest external factor impacting their benefit strategy
  • Employers’ efforts in creating an inclusive and diverse work environment have been received well; 7 in 10 employees rate their employer highly[2]
  • Many employees feel their employers are making progress in DEI issues, but low income and East Asian employees are less likely to think so
  • Low income and South Asian employees are less likely to feel that benefits meet their needs
  • Younger employees are more likely to trust the benefit products and providers recommended by their employer

Questions benefits leaders are asking…

What’s happening in the market?

  • What are the latest trends?
  • What are leading companies doing?
  • How can I improve my offering?

Potential solutions:

  • Employer insights into DEI benefits trends
  • Overlay of employee insights to DEI and benefits trends
  • Blue sky meeting

Where do we focus?

  • How do we know which benefits and populations to focus on?
  • How can we assess risks and opportunities?
  • How do we optimize resources/costs?
  • How can I update my leaves policies (sick, vacation, statutory) to be market competitive and equitable?

Potential solutions:

  • High-level DEI assessment of benefits
  • Heatmap to highlight areas of further investigation
  • Leaves policy review

What principles do we put in place?

  • How do we align our benefits strategy with broader talent and DEI goals?
  • How can we collaborate with other business areas and stakeholders to align benefits with our DEI goals?

Potential solutions:

  • DEI governance structure assessment
  • Assessment of stakeholder views and priorities using surveys/interviews
  • Workshop to define equitable and inclusive benefits principles

How do we make sure our benefits are equitable and inclusive?

  • How do we know if our benefits are aligned with our DEI principles?
  • Where are the opportunities to make our benefits more inclusive?
  • What would we need to do if we wanted to rise above competitors when it comes to equitable and inclusive benefits?

Potential solutions:

  • A comprehensive DEI review of core benefits
  • Benchmarking against compliance, market norms and leading DEI market practices
  • Basic demographic and election analytics (age, gender) to determine patterns
  • Roadmap with priorities to meet objectives
  • Ongoing reporting and measurement protocols

How do we know our benefits are meeting the needs and expectations of our employees?

  • Are benefits meeting diverse needs?
  • What steps are organizations taking to better understand the specific needs of their workforce?
  • Are our benefits affordable and accessible for all?
  • What benefits can satisfy greatest needs?
  • What isn’t hitting the mark and how do we optimize?

Potential solutions:

  • Employee listening activities (focus groups, surveys), Employer insights (workshops and leadership interviews)
  • Population analytics to measure participation and affordability
  • Benchmarking through our existing research and through customized market studies


  1. WTW 2021 Best Practices Survey – Canada (BPS) Return to article
  2. WTW 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey Return to article
Related content tags, list of links Article Health and Benefits Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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