- More than 150 CEOs have signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, "the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace," according to a news release.
- The CEOs pledged to cultivate workplaces that welcome diverse perspectives and experiences, encourage employees to discuss diversity and inclusion and foster conversation about both successful and unsuccessful diversity and inclusion practices.
- The organization's press release cites a 2017 report finding that more than two-thirds of employees were uncomfortable discussing race relations, with 29% feeling it was never acceptable to speak about experiences of race-based bias at their companies.
It appears employers run into problems when their diversity and inclusion initiatives aren't properly executed. As an example, an all-female spacewalk at the International Space Station was canceled earlier this year because NASA didn't have enough spacesuits in the correct size.
Sometimes an initiative's effect on the intended group isn't adequately thought out, experts told HR Dive after NASA's spacesuit incident. NASA isn't the only organization to have such a problem; some companies gave women the day off for International Women's Day — an event meant to get women a seat at the table, not to remove them from the workplace entirely. Another company made a special effort to hire people with hearing impairments without considering how its meeting style, which utilized a lot of stand-up meetings and video calls, would make it challenging for them to participate.
Diversity can improve both innovation and revenue, according to recent research, but only when companies are fully invested in the efforts. If members of a team don't feel they belong, or that their viewpoints are not valued, the team is diverse in name only. In fact, businesses must deliberately create an environment where differences, talents and perspectives are maximized in order to create high-performing teams, Ken Bouyer, director of inclusiveness recruiting at Ernst & Young Americas, previously told HR Dive.
Full buy-in from leadership may also increase the success of D&I programs. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that most Americans say it is at least somewhat important for companies to promote diversity in their workplaces, but are against taking race and ethnicity into account during hiring and promotion decisions.