Weber Shandwick, in partnership with United Minds and KRC Research, has released Chief Diversity Officers Today: Paving the Way for Diversity & Inclusion Success. This workplace diversity and inclusion survey, conducted among D&I professionals at high revenue companies in the US, focuses on two areas:
- The best practices of D&I functions that are well-aligned with the overall business strategy of the company
- The roles and responsibilities of Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) and the challenges facing them today
The diversity and inclusion research classifies D&I professionals into three distinct segments along a D&I alignment continuum according to their stated strategic alignment with business goals: Well-Aligned, Aligned and Misaligned. Four in 10 D&I professionals (39 per cent) strongly agree with the statement, “The diversity and inclusion function at my company is well-aligned with the overall business strategy of my company.” This Well-Aligned segment serves as the model for best in class D&I Functions. Nearly half of D&I professionals (46 per cent) are Aligned and 14 per cent are Misaligned.
Alignment of diversity and inclusion strategy with business strategy provides organisations with several business advantages. Alignment has a tangible outcome on hiring and recruitment, drives company reputation and even positively impacts financial performance. Two-thirds of executives in Well-Aligned D&I functions (66 per cent) strongly agree that D&I is an important driver of company financial performance, a rate significantly higher than that of executives in Aligned D&I functions (27 per cent) and Misaligned D&I functions (12 per cent).
Our study includes a sample of professionals who hold the senior-most D&I position in their organisations (CDOs). The top priorities of these CDOs over the next 12 to 18 months are equal parts recruitment and retention; diversity and inclusion training and learning and development; and fostering a diverse and inclusive work culture (each 33 per cent). CDOs face a variety of challenges in achieving their diversity and inclusion goals, on both a personal and company level. The biggest challenge personally facing CDOs is making the business case for D&I, while the biggest challenge standing in the way of their company achieving its D&I goals is the organisational culture.
Chief Diversity Officers Today provides guidelines for companies to consider when developing a successful workplace diversity and inclusion function based on differences we found between Well-Aligned D&I functions and their less aligned counterparts. View our presentation here or click here to access the full diversity and inclusion survey.