With recruitment and retention outcomes increasingly linked to strong diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, employers have begun mobilizing to meet the moment. Hiring of diversity leaders has almost tripled since the beginning of 2020. Nearly 60 organizations have aligned with the World Economic Forum on WEF’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative. The 50 biggest companies in the nation have collectively committed nearly $50 billion to racial justice-related causes. But is the momentum behind DEI efforts enough to drive meaningful change and attract and retain a generation of talent that demands it?
So far, DEI strategies have been researched less than other areas of business. While an August 2021 research report from Grads of Life and Bain & Company uncovered 10 proven tactics designed to drive outcomes for underrepresented talent, much DEI work still lacks the clear data, standard key performance indicators, and rigorous evaluation mechanisms that support other core business units, such as finance, IT, and sales. Employers can turn the tide in this domain. By applying the same rigor and thoughtfulness as in other critical business functions, employers can ensure a greater return on their DEI investments, including a more engaged workforce and more innovative leadership teams.
We’ve come across four specific DEI actions that can enable companies to reexamine their impact and uncover opportunities to better support underrepresented talent. These four areas are an excellent place for businesses to begin evaluating the effectiveness of their DEI efforts—through enhanced deployment, increased measurement, or both.