Data Diversity Inclusion dreamstime xxl 194319801 Pivotal HR Solutions Blog

Report: Most Organizations “Just Going through the Motions” on Promoting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

A new report by HR industry analyst, educator, and thought leader Josh Bersin has painted a rather unflattering picture of how organizations are promoting —  or make that, failing to promote — diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

The report is based on a survey of 804 HR professionals across industries, geographies, and company sizes in the fall of 2020. The key findings include:

  • 89% of recruiters are not evaluated based on sourcing from underrepresented groups.
  • 88% of organizations do not recognize senior leaders for achieving diversity and inclusion goals.
  • 76% of organizations have no diversity or inclusion goals whatsoever.
  • 68% of organizations do not require any kind of DEI training for employees.
  • 40% of organizations view diversity and inclusion as a risk management and compliance issue, yet still have no comprehensive DEI strategy in place.


Diversity in the Workplace Report dreamstime xxl 183311092 Pivotal HR Solutions Blog


The report also highlighted some core business advantages of implementing a robust and properly-resourced DEI program across the organization:

  • Organizations in which leaders believe and demonstrate that diversity is a priority are 2.9 times more likely to excel in innovation.
  • When the CEO establishes the DEI strategy and frequently communicates progress, the organization is 6.3 times more likely to be a leader in its industry segment and to have a diverse leadership team.
  • Organizations with strong DEI programs are 2.6 times more likely to have engaged employees and above-average retention, and they are also 4.3 times more likely to establish a culture of belonging.

Separate but related research aligns with these findings. For example:

  • 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering employment opportunities, and more than 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity. (Source: Glassdoor)
  • Higher representation of women in C-suite level positions results in 34% greater returns to shareholders. (Source: Fast Company)
  • Racially and ethnically diverse organizations outperform industry norms by 35% (Source: McKinsey)

Commented Josh Bersin: “Roughly 80% of companies are just going through the motions and not holding themselves accountable…diversity, equity and inclusion is a hotly discussed topic and clearly essential to business success. However, there are no clear guidelines on how to effect lasting, meaningful change. The entire domain is highly complex, and many companies turn to legacy tactics of unconscious bias training, diverse recruiting, and other directives that can backfire and even contribute to more division than unity. It’s time for CEOs and CHROs to define their businesses in diverse, fair, and inclusive ways.”

The Bottom Line


Organizations that legitimately focus on DEI have a more engaged, innovative and profitable workforce. They do the right thing and get rewarded for the results. In light of this the question isn’t that organizations need to ask themselves isn’t “should we make DEI a priority?” but rather “how can we afford not to make DEI a priority?”

Learn More


To learn more about optimizing your workforce and effectively promoting diversity, equity and inclusion across your organization — instead of just “going through the motions” — contact PIVOTAL today and learn more about our on-site and off-site HR Management solutions.

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