After the killing of George Floyd, countless companies pledged to prioritize diversity and inclusion. Yet, most of these companies are finding it difficult to make real progress. Despite the recent increase in DEI efforts, 55% of employees believe their company should increase diversity and inclusion (Glassdoor¹). So, why are companies still falling short when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion?
The Increase in DEI Pledges
In 2020, Three’s a Crowd (TAC) started the “In for 13” campaign to increase diversity and inclusion efforts in companies. When they originally launched this initiative, over 71 companies signed up. A year later and only 22 companies are still committed to this initiative.
The co-founder of TAC said that she was not interested in shaming those companies who abandoned their DEI initiatives - as many of them could not get buy-in from top management, didn’t have the resources, were not ready for the commitment, etc². Going beyond this initiative, companies who publicly pledge to increase representation, support education, and more are still lagging behind.
Fifty of America's biggest companies pledged over $49.5 billion toward addressing racial inequality. Of the 50 companies who have pledged, 37 have confirmed spending $1.7 billion of the $49.5 billion, while several of the companies refused to release data on how much they have spent. Some of these initiatives span several years, but there is a clear gap between how much they have spent versus what they originally pledged³.
A Different Approach to DEI
Most of the time, DEI training is seen as a reactive approach; maybe an ex-employee spoke out, or a discrimination lawsuit was filed against the company. A company tends to prioritize DEI more after these incidents happen, but companies benefit from taking a proactive versus reactive approach. Companies who proactively approach DEI have time to implement these initiatives successfully and can find out what their employees really want.
DEI training & initiatives are not a one-and-done situation. These efforts must be consistent and ongoing. Many companies that fail at their DEI initiatives do not have well-defined goals or plans. Hiring diverse talent or holding one diversity training is not enough to create a diverse and inclusive culture. By setting goals and creating a long-term plan, companies are more likely to see meaningful change.
Implementing DEI initiatives is not an easy task. We’re here to help. Click here to learn more or call us at 800.834.4946.