If you’ve been keeping up with our recent Empathy findings, then it’s likely no surprise that the visibility of DEIB programs has declined. Over the past eight years, we’ve dedicated a portion of our State of Workplace Empathy study to tracking DEIB progress and perceptions. Notable findings from our report show a considerable backslide in DEIB efforts and awareness, especially among HR professionals:
A full-picture view of both our Empathy study and 2023 Benefits Insights Report points to a combination of layoffs, budget cuts, widespread burnout—especially among HR professionals—as well as strategic misalignment on contentious policies like return-to-office (RTO). The manifestation of this “perfect storm” of factors is highlighted in declining HR and employee empathy perceptions, motivation, and mental health. But the data also tells us that CEOs have seemingly been immune to these impacts, resulting in the greatest gaps in perceptions ever recorded between CEOs and their employees.
Downsizing is likely a considerable factor that has cut DEIB progress off at its knees for many companies, especially the technology sector which laid off hundreds of DEIB leaders. In 2020, DEIB leadership roles increased 55%, however, by the end of 2022 the attrition rate for DEIB roles was 33% compared with 21% for non-DEI roles.
Other notable findings show that:
As companies reflect on these findings, it’s important to recognize that DEIB touches every aspect of a business. Every employee has a stake in DEIB progress–these efforts can’t be isolated or siloed into a “thing” that is the responsibility of one person or group.
That said, accountability will be key to getting DEIB efforts back on track and that requires investment in critical roles and leadership to drive programs forward. While our data is disheartening, it can also be viewed as an opportunity for organizations to become employers of choice through reinvestment and recommitment to real action.
Read our full findings and list of action items for organizations to reinvigorate their DEIB efforts in our 2023 State of Workplace Empathy DEIB Special Report: www.businessolver.com/empathy