The State of DEI 2020

We surveyed hundreds of HR, talent, and people leaders on their strategies, progress, and budgets for advancing diversity and inclusion programs in the workplace.

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Membership Feature
This year has been like no other. One of the legacies of 2020 will be the elevated awareness and conversations around racial justice. Private companies are no longer neutral bystanders, and their employees and customers are looking to them for leadership. We surveyed hundreds of leaders and professionals at 100+ organizations on their approach, budget, and success with DEI initiatives, and are sharing the results so we can all make progress on these important issues together. We humbly hope this information helps you and your teams make great strides in 2021 and beyond.
Tom Griffiths

Tom Griffiths

CEO & Co-founder of Hone

Savina Perez

Head of Growth & Co-founder of Hone

Conclusions

The Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 has significantly impacted DEI initiatives

How has the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 directly impacted your DEI initiatives?

We implemented new DEI programs
0%
We spend more on DEI programs
0%
We offer DEI programs to more employees
0%
We invest less in DEI
0%

81% of respondents have made changes to their DEI initiatives as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020, including 60% who have implemented new DEI programs

When I was hired, as part-time staff, at the beginning of this year I asked to begin working on DEI initiatives as a part of my role. I was beginning to reach out to campus resources to initiate programming when COVID hit. There wasn’t much discussion about DEI initiatives until the protests this summer. Those protests sparked a community conversation within the athletic department and the creation of our DEI committee (that I am also a member of). The work of the committee has really just begun and we need more resources to push out initiatives across the entire athletic department.

66% of respondents have implemented DEI training in the past year or will do so in the next year

Only 18% had DEI training in place 1+ years ago

Does your organization offer DEI training to employees?

No, but planning to within the next year
0%
Yes, has been implemented recently (over the past year)
0%
Yes, has been in place for over a year
0%
No, not planning to
0%
I'm not sure
0%

Has your company made a publicly documented commitment to DEI?

Yes, has been implemented recently (over the past year)
0%
No, but planning to within the next year
0%
Yes, has been in place for over a year
0%
No, not planning to
0%
I'm not sure
0%

61% of respondent orgs have made a publicly documented commitment to DEI in the past year or will do so in the next year.

Only 16% had made such a commitment over a year ago

67% of respondents work at organization that have either shared DEI goals with all employees in the past year or will do so in the next year

We have shared long term DEI goals with all employees.

Planning to within the next year
0%
In place currently
0%
In place prior to March 2020
0%
Not planning to
0%
I'm not sure
0%

We’re integrating DEI into SMART goals, making them SMARTIE, providing 1:1 and group coaching on leading more inclusively and equitably.

The principles of DEI are being adopted most in the hiring process

Do you track diversity across the recruiting process?

No, but planning to within the next year
0%
Yes, it has been in place for over a year
0%
Yes, it has been implemented recently (over the past year)
0%
I'm not sure
0%
No, we're not planning to
0%

83% of organizations have either already implemented diversity tracking across the recruiting process, or plan to within the next year.

79% of respondents say their org is already checking job descriptions for inclusive language or plans to do so in the next year

We check job descriptions for inclusive language

Yes, it has been in place for over a year
0%
Yes, it has been implemented recently (over the past year)
0%
No, but we are planning to within the next year
0%
I'm not sure
0%
No, we're not planning to
0%

Organizations lack accountability for their DEI initiatives

Do you share a diversity report with the public?

No, we're not planning to
0%
I'm not sure
0%
No, but planning to within the next year
0%
Yes, it has been implemented recently (over the past year)
0%
Yes, it has been in place for over a year
0%

Only 24% of orgs have either shared a diversity report with the public or say they plan to

Only 23% of orgs have performance goals attached to DEI for their leaders

Do you have leaders with performance goals attached to DEI?

Yes, has been implemented recently (over the past year)
0%
No, but planning to within the next year
0%
Yes, has been in place for over a year
0%
No, not planning to
0%
I'm not sure
0%

What are you most concerned about when it comes to implementing DEI in your organization?

Not enough resources
0%
Not sure how to measure success
0%
Not enough buy-in from leadership
0%
Not enough tangible outcomes compared to the efforts wer'e making
0%
Not enough diversity in the talent pool
0%
Not enough buy-in from people managers
0%
Not enough buy-in from front line employees
0%

58% of orgs are either unsure how to measure success or are worried about a lack of tangible outcomes compared to efforts

When you’re not at the top of the chain you don’t hear about the efforts as much or see the work being done and that gets discouraging to wonder if there is real work actually going on.

Companies say DEI is important but don’t put their money where their mouth is

Despite increases in DEI efforts over hal of respondents say their orgs do not plan to hire a full-time D&I or DEI coordinator

Do you have a full-time D&I or DEI coordinator?

No, and we're not planning to
0%
No, but we are planning to within the next year
0%
Yes, it has been in place for over a year
0%
Yes, it has been implemented recently (over the past year)
0%
I'm not sure
0%

What are you most concerned about when it comes to implementing DEI in your organization?

Not enough resources
0%
Not sure how to measure success
0%
Not enough buy-in from leadership
0%
Not enough tangible outcomes compared to the efforts wer'e making
0%
Not enough diversity in the talent pool
0%
Not enough buy-in from people managers
0%
Not enough buy-in from front line employees
0%

Nearly half of respondents cite a lack of resources as a top concern when implementing DEI programs

Companies with diverse leadership have been ahead of the curve

Leadership team diversity is the strongest predictor of DEI importance in the workplace...

Companies in which white males made up fewer than 40% of the leadership team were nearly 5x more likely to have viewed DEI as a top 3 priority for several years.

% of companies where DEI has been a top 3 priority for 1+ years

0-40% of leadership team are white males
0%
41-100% of leadership team are white males
0%

...although, companies where white males make up 40% or more of the leadership team have heard the call to action in the past year

Among companies where over 40% of leadership are white males

Currently view DEI as a top 3 priority
0%
Do not think DEI is important at all
0%

Nearly half (48.8%) of companies in which white males make up over 40% of the leadership team now view DEI as a top 3 priority.

Front line employees are leading the charge

What are you most concerned about when it comes to implementing DEI in your organization?

Not enough resources
0%
Not sure how to measure success
0%
Not enough buy-in from leadership
0%
Not enough tangible outcomes compared to the efforts wer'e making
0%
Not enough diversity in the talent pool
0%
Not enough buy-in from people managers
0%
Not enough buy-in from front line employees
0%

Respondents are 5 times as likely to be concerned about leadership’s commitment to DEI than commitment from front line employees

We have a small group of employees that have been allowed to create a virtual space to address these issues, but we are not trained and there is little to no buy in from gatekeepers/leadership.

Recommendations

Make a sustainable financial commitment to DEI

Volunteer Employee Resource Groups or unpaid DEI coordinators often create burnout for employees already working full-time. Instead, make DEI priorities a formal part of your organization’s strategic roadmap and planning, and compensate great people for their work.

To enact meaningful change orgs need to focus on the upward mobility of diverse employees within every level of the organization

Focus on retention and upward mobility by:

  • Ensuring that your onboarding experience includes opportunities to connect new hires with mentors and sponsors, and create intentional ways for diverse employees to grow these relationships over time.
  • Enrolling your employees in mandatory unconscious bias training, so that managers and others cultivate awareness of their blind spots and take responsibility for creating an equitable culture.

There is no substitute for building a more diverse leadership team

Commit to interviewing diverse candidates when filling executive positions, and create a transparent promotional path forward for employees. Our research shows that organizations with diverse leadership teams are significantly more likely to prioritize DEI initiatives, and build a more inclusive and equitable culture at work.

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