TD Bank Group (TD) announced that it would offer open-source access to its Equity Resource Hub, a digital platform created by TD Lab to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all stages of product & service design. By making the Hub, initially a proprietary tool launched by TD in early 2022, available for access by any individual and business, TD hopes to help support inclusive innovation across industries.
The TD Equity, Diversity & Inclusion survey, which polled 1,501 Canadian adults on their opinions about corporate equity practices from May 3rd to 9th, 2022, reveals that inclusion has an undeniable role to play from the perspective of customers and employees: most Canadians polled prefer to do business with (71%) or work for (73%), businesses that have strong equity, inclusion, and diversity practices.
"At TD, inclusion is a priority in everything we do to support our goal of serving the diverse needs of all our customers and colleagues," said Rizwan Khalfan, Chief Digital and Payments Officer, TD Bank Group. "We're also truly supportive of helping to drive change in innovation beyond our walls, to better support the communities we serve."
The Equity Resource Hub can guide the user through product or service development with a five-step process that includes the consideration of aspects of diversity – such as race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability. Through the creation of personas, which are commonly used in design and development, the Hub helps users create more diverse, inclusive, and equitable assets for inclusion in their product and service design and development, from early ideation to later-stage production.
Strong, transparent equity practices matter
The TD Equity, Diversity & Inclusion survey also revealed that diversity, and inclusion are high on the list of key considerations when the Canadians polled are choosing which businesses to engage with, as a consumer or as an employee. More specifically:
• Nearly 8-in-10 younger Canadians surveyed (ages 18-34 / 79%)
say they prefer to engage with businesses that have strong
equity, inclusion, and diversity practices.
• More than half of Canadians surveyed (51%), and 7-in-10
younger Canadians surveyed (ages 18-34 / 70%) say they would
switch employers for a business that has stronger diversity,
equity, and inclusion practices.
• Nearly 8-in-10 Canadians surveyed (78%) expect businesses to
be transparent about their equity, inclusion, and diversity
"Diverse, equitable practices are no longer a nice-to-have, but a need-to-have," says Samantha Estoesta, Manager, Equity in Innovation and Programs, TD Bank Group. "By creating a platform that provides users with a detailed set of diversity considerations in the early stages of design, they can work towards meeting the diverse needs of their customers and/or employees and therefore help create a more inclusive society."
Generation Z most passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion.
The data in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion survey shows that Gen Z places the most importance of any generation on equity, diversity, and inclusive practices, and say that this has become even more important to them in the last year.
• Nearly 8-in-10 (79%) Canadians surveyed think it's important
that product and service development is informed by diverse
internal perspectives, 91% of Canadian Gen Z respondents
feel this way – nearly as many who identify price (95%) as
an important factor in their decision-making process.
• Half of Canadians surveyed (47%) say that over the last year
they have been paying more attention to the diversity,
equity, and inclusivity practices at the businesses they
support, and of the Gen Z Canadians surveyed alone, that
number spikes to 75%.
"Consumers are going to keep pushing the business community to do better and be better," says Khalfan. "At TD, we're up for the challenge. We're keen to share this Hub and help other businesses apply equity practices against their processes."
As an active member of the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR), TD ran a second phase pilot offering CILAR member organizations, including large technology, financial services, and consulting firms, the opportunity to use the platform for their own projects, so the Bank could collect external feedback about the platform before making the decision to offer the tool on an open-source basis.
"We were thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the Equity Resource Hub to our members and support TD's drive for inclusive innovation practices," said Serena Nguyen, Executive Director, CILAR. "By increasing access to tools that help support equitable product and service design, we can elevate inclusion across the innovation economy and work towards a future that supports our diverse society."