New research from Culture Amp finds that while many companies have made diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) commitments, few organizations are yet to make meaningful progress on these commitments. Culture Amp’s 2022 Workplace DEI Report reveals a striking disconnect in organizations’ commitment, action and impact on DEI, with many organizations failing to collect DEI data or strategically invest in programming that will improve DEI outcomes.
In Culture Amp’s survey of HR and DEI practitioners, 81% reported that they believe that DEI initiatives are beneficial to their organizations. Yet, only 34% of respondents reported having enough resources to support their DEI initiatives. Despite lacking resources to drive change, the overwhelming majority (85%) of respondents agreed that their organization is building a diverse and inclusive culture, and employee perceptions of diversity have improved year over year.
Six out of ten (63%) of companies reported hosting events and DEI-related discussions, but research finds that companies often stop there. Only 50% of surveyed companies reported having a DEI mission statement and only 49% have a strategic diversity plan in place - both crucial steps in creating the organizational alignment necessary to create lasting, structural change.
More organizations are investing in DEI staffing and specialists, with 40% of organizations building out the specialized expertise needed to build successful equity & inclusion programs. Eight out of ten DEI roles have been hired in the last 18 months, meaning that most companies are still at the beginning of their change journeys and there may yet be hope for additional progress.
During the last year, the experiences of Black and Asian employees largely improved, a trend that could be partially attributed to collective activism around Black Lives Matter and Stop AAPI Hate. While these communities have seen improvements, Black employees still experience a gap in “perceptions of equal opportunities,” and Asian employees still report they often lack voice at the leadership level. On the other hand, Latinx and LGBTQ employees’ experiences largely declined.
Culture Amp’s research also shows that companies aren’t doing enough to support working parents and caregivers. These investments would have been especially beneficial for women, with women reporting a 7% point decrease in agreement to “I am able to manage any caring responsibilities while transitioning back to work.”
Moreover, there was a significant decrease in womens’ ability to balance their workloads. While most companies (94%) reported providing some type of mental health benefit, only 21% said they are providing child care assistance, and less than 10% of respondents reported providing senior care benefits. In order to create a better world of work, companies will need to flex their benefits to better serve the urgent needs of their employees.
The DEI initiatives that are making the greatest impact
By connecting specific initiatives to the outcomes they drive, Culture Amp’s people scientists have uncovered the greatest drivers of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The study found that the greatest drivers of a more diverse workforce are having a diversity policy, implementing a strategic plan, and using DEI data to make decisions.
Despite these activities being nearly identical to what’s required to drive other types of organizational priorities, Culture Amp found that less than half (49%) of companies have a strategic diversity plan and only 34% share DEI data with all department leaders.
To make progress on representation, companies need to collect more data on the demographics and experience of their workforce, and use it transparently to help drive leader awareness and action, as well as provide accountability to their employees. Research also shows that only 40% of organizations are conducting DEI-specific surveys (a key driver of inclusion).
Culture Amp data shows that improving the transparency and consistency of core organizational processes are the best way to drive equity. Specifically, initiatives that are particularly effective at driving equitable outcomes include:
- Implementing employee recognition programs
- Having formal mentorship or sponsorship programs
- Creating clear advancement processes
- Explicitly sourcing underrepresented candidates
Aubrey Blanche, Senior Director of Equitable Design, Product & People at Culture Amp said: “Investing in DEI is more important than ever. Yet, while many companies believe that DEI is valuable, organizations are often not providing adequate resources, or aren’t strategically investing in DEI at the right levels, to create significant change. This means that companies are largely performing, rather than creating, DEI.
“There are steps that companies can take to move the needle on their DEI commitments. Making decisions based on DEI data and having a mission statement are important first steps. To build a diverse and inclusive workplace, companies need to build fair, equitable processes. Greater investment in DEI data collection, employee recognition, formal mentorship, and clarity of advancement processes will better equip companies to achieve the sea change they say they’re seeking (often on their company websites and careers pages).
“This is just the beginning and we hope that these insights will translate DEI promises into real progress as organizations continue on their journey of building a better world of work for all.”
For more insights and actionable advice please see Culture Amp’s 2022 Workplace DEI Report at http://www.cultureamp.com/workplace-dei-report-2022 or visit www.cultureamp.com.
Culture Amp revolutionizes how over 25 million employees across 5,000 companies create a better world of work. As the global platform leader for employee experience, Culture Amp empowers companies of all sizes and industries to transform employee engagement, develop high performing teams, and retain talent via cutting-edge research, powerful technology, and the largest employee dataset in the world. The most innovative companies across the globe, such as Salesforce, Unilever, PwC, KIND, SoulCycle, and BigCommerce depend on Culture Amp every day.
Culture Amp is backed by 10 years of innovation, leading venture capital funds, and offices in the U.S, U.K, and Australia. Culture Amp is recognized as one of the world’s top private cloud companies by Forbes and one of the most innovative workplace companies by Fast Company.