Progress Being Made in Diversity and Inclusion Efforts but More Still Needs to Be Done


- While Vast Majority Say There is More Focus on D&I Than 5 Years Ago, More than Half Say There is Still Unconscious Bias in Their Organization -

- Leaders Say D&I Efforts Lead to Greater Innovation and Less Employee Turnover -

LOS ANGELES, March 18, 2019 – Progress is being made to create a culture of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in organizations, but much more needs to be done to close the gap. That according to a new executive survey from Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY).

The vast majority of respondents (81 percent) say they believe they work for a diverse and inclusive company, and 87 percent say there is more of a focus on D&I in their organization today than 5 years ago.

Further, 76 percent of respondents say that they do understand the causes of bias and 62 percent have D&I programs in place to help ameliorate the issue.

However, 59 percent feel there is still an element of unconscious bias when it comes to diverse backgrounds such as religion, race, gender or sexual preference.

“Understanding the behaviors that cause bias is a strong step, but it’s not enough to create effective action,” said Andrés Tapia, a global diversity and inclusion strategist and thought leader at Korn Ferry. “Organizations need to address the structural issues that are keeping bias alive, including pay parity, role expectations and high-potential talent criteria that favor one group over another.”

According to the survey, there are clear business reasons to focus on the issue. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) say their D&I programs help with employee retention and 76 percent say D&I initiatives lead to greater innovation.

“The dichotomy between an overwhelming sense that D&I is good for business and yet the continued lack of truly breakthrough progress indicate that organizations need to address inherent bias issues not only in a strategic, programmatic and sustainable way, but also with courage and determination,” said Tapia.

About the survey:

Korn Ferry conducted the survey in early March 2019. There were 715 responses. Survey responses follow:

Do you feel like you work for a diverse and inclusive company?

Yes - 81 percent
No - 19 percent

Does your organization have diversity and inclusion programs in place?

Yes - 62 percent
No - 38 percent

Does your organization put a conscious focus on creating a culture of diversity and inclusion?

Yes - 78 percent
No - 22 percent

Compared to 5 years ago, how much of an effort does your organization place on diversity and inclusion?

Much more - 28 percent
Somewhat more - 59 percent
Somewhat less - 13 percent
Much less - 0 percent

Do you think there is an element of unconscious bias in your organization when it comes to diverse backgrounds such as religion, race, gender or sexual preference?

Yes - 59 percent
No - 41 percent

Do your organization's diversity and inclusion programs enhance employee retention?

Yes - 63 percent
No - 37 percent

Does a lack of focus on diversity and inclusion contribute to employee turnover?

Yes - 49 percent
No - 51 percent

Does a focus on diversity and inclusion contribute to greater innovation?

Yes - 76 percent
No - 24 percent

If progress to increase diversity and inclusion has been slow, does your organization understand the root causes?

Yes to a great extent - 22 percent
Yes to some extent - 48 percent
No to some extent - 24 percent
No to a great extent - 0 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help clients synchronize strategy and talent to drive superior performance. We work with organizations to design their structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people to bring their strategy to life. And we advise them on how to reward, develop, and motivate their people.

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