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Most companies worldwide say they support DEI initiatives and many say they’re taking action—but 75 percent of consumers don’t believe them

by | Aug 2, 2023 | Public Relations

Edelman’s most recent Trust Barometer in January 2023 had some uplifting news for the business world, revealing that business was the most trusted institution globally, with 60 percent of people saying they trusted businesses at least somewhat. Of course, given the common perceptions of institutions like government and media these days, that’s no real surprise—or prize. 

But that faith seems to be diminishing, especially when it comes to Purpose-related initiatives and claims. Even business leaders don’t trust the sustainability claims of their peers, and new research from nonprofit community advocacy group NPower reveals that 3 in 4 (75 percent) American adults surveyed do not think US companies have followed through on their DEI commitments made during the pandemic, and the same amount do not think companies are doing enough to recruit women of color in their workforce—and more than one-fourth of Americans do not know what companies should do to help solve this issue.

The new research from NPower’s Command Shift, a national coalition mission-driven to increase the recruitment, retention and advancement of women of color in tech and tech-enabled sectors, also revealed that more than 67 percent of US adults surveyed believe that both C-suite leaders and the U.S. government have some level of responsibility to diversify their workforce by recruiting women of color.

“Tech and tech-adjacent companies that lack an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion will lose in the next decade,” said Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO of NPower, in a news release. “They will lose in the continuing war for talent, in the race for innovation, and in the war for consumers, especially as the US population becomes more diverse.”

To support companies in making good on their promises to increase diversity, Command Shift created the Diversity Directive

This is a comprehensive series of clear, concise, strategies, guidelines, case studies and other resources. The new digital hub, across four different unique toolkits, provides step-by-step guidance to meet companies where they are on their DEI journey, whether they are looking to make an initial DEI reporting/assessment or looking to make investments toward skill-building programs for employees/for those across nontraditional backgrounds.

“Achieving equity for women of color in the tech workforce cannot happen in a vacuum, and we need to bring as many like-minded companies together as possible,” said Ann Marr, EVP of Global Human Resources at World Wide Technology, in the release. “We are proud to support Command Shift in this effort to provide industry leaders with the resources and tools they need to create a culture of inclusion within their organizations, for the betterment of people, businesses and communities.”

While the focus of the recommended strategies and insights within the Diversity Directive are catered to accelerate women of color in the technology industry, the resources are available for use to meet a widespread range of diversity goals.

The Diversity Directive focuses on four major areas:

  • Measurement: The Disrupt your DEI by the Numbers toolkit provides action steps to help employers foster a culture of inclusion and belonging through thoughtful data collection and analysis.
  • Hiring: The Shift Towards Inclusive Hiring toolkit guides companies through employment-related biases—how to spot them, avoid them, and how to reassess hiring criteria for future positions to include more diverse candidates.
  • Investment: The Shift Towards Transformational Investment toolkit highlights the successful implementation of strategic investments that boost alternative pathways for diverse candidates, including training and skills development via workforce development programs, community colleges, and other nontraditional settings.
  • Retention and advancement: The Shift Towards Equitable Culture toolkit guides users on different strategies and programs that can be utilized to promote and retain Black, Latina and Native American women within the technology sector .

“Increasing employee diversity at tech companies by hiring more women of color will require business leaders, human resource officers, recruitment managers and others throughout business to reassess and revamp their existing policies to prioritize hiring more women of color including those from underrepresented communities and non-traditional backgrounds,” said Candice Dixon, executive director of Command Shift. 

Check out The Diversity Directive here.

This survey of 1,205 adults was conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov panel of individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Emails are sent to panelists selected at random from the base sample. The email invites them to take part in a survey and provides a generic survey link. Once a panel member clicks on the link they are sent to the survey that they are most required for, according to the sample definition and quotas. The survey’s margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level is 2.73 percent.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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