Many organizations’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives gained new momentum in response to the racial violence exemplified by the murder of George Floyd in 2020. However, while most organizations can speak eloquently about their new or enhanced strategies, many are finding that overcoming obstacles and implementing best practices can be challenging.
To uncover how much progress has been made since 2020, capture progressive approaches, and shed light on the most vexing challenges, KPMG LLP (KPMG) launched its first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Progress Survey during the second quarter of 2022. The survey of 300 C-suite executives across industries was enriched by interviews with several leading Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs).
In this paper, KPMG provides compelling, and sometimes sobering, statistical evidence of how representation of people of color, women, and other underrepresented talent has changed at U.S. companies in the past two years, as well as the degree to which companies plan to continue to increase diverse representation over the next three years.
The second half of the paper is dedicated to four big ideas to help companies make measurable progress on DEI going forward. These ideas are based on our in-depth discussions with leading CDOs, our work with clients, and our own self-reflection, also highlighted in the paper:
- Remember that words count
- Determine how—and how often—to measure progress
- Put barriers to change under a microscope
- Empower your DEI leadership
As you read this paper, it should become clear that making progress on each one of these imperatives can amount to meaningful change. However, the most progressive companies will pursue all of them concurrently. Our hope is that our views will help invigorate your DEI efforts and empower your teams. In the end, although corporate leaders will appreciate the extent to which DEI initiatives can drive organizations’ growth and profitability, it’s ultimately about making DEI central to your employee value proposition and contributing to meaningful societal change.