Why Businesses Should be Talking About Their DEI Investments

Why Businesses Should be Talking About Their DEI Investments

BY SARAH DEJAK, Vice President

Companies have an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to ongoing actions around diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) to invested stakeholders.

Executive Summary

Overview

A conversation about DEI is already happening that companies and industries should be a part of. With an understandable increase in conversations about DEI in the workplace in the past year, our team recently conducted research to understand how stakeholders’ engagement with the topic has changed over the year. Our survey found that respondents’ perceptions and support for a company or industry could be impacted by actions on those topics.

Both employees and consumers want to see sustained action from companies. Companies have an opportunity to increase stakeholders’ knowledge around what actions they are already taking and will continue to take to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion. By sharing meaningful, sustained DEI initiatives that generate lasting change, companies can positively impact their brand perception.

Methodology

This survey was conducted online as part of the Russell Omnibus between February 2 – 5, 2021, among 1,021 online adults, ages 18 or older, across the United States. Figures for gender, age, and geography were weighted where necessary to match their actual proportions in the U.S. population.
 

Key Insights

  1. Individuals’ support of industries and businesses are impacted by a company’s actions or inactions around DEI.
     
  2. The majority of respondents are seeing, hearing and reading little about DEI from key industries like tech, healthcare and energy, despite companies’ significant investment in DEI in these areas.

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Takeaway #1

Respondents want to know what actions companies and industries are taking around DEI.

 

 

Takeaway #2

Businesses have an opportunity to reaffirm their ongoing investments in DEI. Respondents care about businesses’ investments in DEI but are seeing, reading and hearing little about them.

 

 

Why It Matters

Conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion show a sustained increase.

On average, searches for diversity, equity and inclusion on Google have generally remained higher since May 2020. In the past 12 months, Google search queries like “why is diversity and inclusion important” and “diversity equity and inclusion training” are both up 350%.

This data was pulled by searching keywords “diversity,” “equity” and “inclusion” in Google’s Trends tool, which provides insights on Google searches. The above graph outlines the popularity of searches for each keyword in the past year.

Business is a top interest for conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion on Twitter.

This data was pulled by searching keywords “diversity,” “equity”, and “inclusion on Brandwatch, a digital consumer intelligence platform. The above graph outlines interests by volume of mentions based on Twitter data.

Conclusion

A conversation is already happening that companies and industries should be part of. There’s a communications opportunity to increase employee and consumer knowledge around what actions industries and companies are taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion.

With an understandable increase in conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace in the past year, our survey found that respondents’ perceptions and support for a company or industry could be impacted by actions on those topics.

Simultaneously, most respondents have seen, read and heard little to none about company and industry actions. Sharing ongoing initiatives with employees and consumers can positively impact brand perception.

Download the report as a PDF