Compliance Blog

Survey of DEI Leaders Highlights Progress, Challenges & Plans for 2022 (Part 1)

December 7, 2021 | Blaine Oelschlegel

Organizations that are planning their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies and initiatives for 2022 can leverage some practical actions and insights from a recent survey of DEI leaders conducted by World Business Research on behalf of Traliant. Participants in the phone survey were DEI executives, including chief diversity officers, diversity vice presidents and diversity directors, from US organizations, ranging in size from 100 to 5,000+ employees. They represented a variety of sectors, including healthcare, business services, industrial/manufacturing, finance and retail. 

The survey and report, How to Build an Effective DEI Program, highlights how organizations are progressing in their DEI journeys, amid a range of internal and external challenges. Recent events over the last several years have put DEI and other related workplace topics — such as unconscious bias, microaggressions and psychological safety — front-and-center of efforts to create a more respectful, inclusive workplace that attracts top talent and drives better outcomes.

Among the survey highlights:

  • 89% of the DEI executives said their organizations already have a formal DEI strategy in place The remaining 11% plan to implement one in the next 12 months.
  • 79% of respondents will allocate more budget and/or resources to DEI in 2022 — whether or not they currently have any dedicated resources. 42% said they will allocate 25% more to DEI and 31% will dedicate 10% more.
  • 58% of DEI leaders said their CEO and/or executive management team are involved in decisions to endorse and advance DEI, however, only 13% within that group are proactive and visible in demonstrating their support.
  • 72% said it’s important that DEI training is updated regularly so that employees aren’t taking the same course year after year; 62% said training should align with their DEI strategy and goals; and 59% said it’s important that training is easy to customize to their brand and covers topics that are relevant to their employees and organization.
  • 33% claim they communicate DEI goals and/or progress on a biannual basis; 30% on an annual basis. Communication is a key area for improvement, as organizations seek to create more open, transparent work cultures that keep employees engaged, informed and up to date on progress.
  • 61% said they are only “somewhat confident” that employees feel a sense of belonging, inclusion and psychological safety; 24% said they are “somewhat unconfident.” Employees who don’t feel valued, respected and safe to bring their whole selves to work may experience burnout and other health and wellness issues that cause them to leave and take their talents with them.
Traliant Insight

A recent survey of DEI executives highlights their progress so far — most have a formal DEI strategy and will allocate more budget and resources in 2022 — and their challenges — a lack of visible and proactive participation by senior leadership. We’ll share other findings and insights in upcoming posts. The full report can be downloaded here.


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