New Korn Ferry Survey Examines the Economy’s Impact on DE&I Efforts and Who is Responsible for Advancing DE&I in Organizations

Los Angeles, Feb. 8, 2023 – A new Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey of professionals points to who has the responsibility to advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts within an organization and how the economy is impacting those efforts.

Nearly one-third (30%) of respondents say the weakening economy is slowing down DE&I efforts in their organization. While fewer than half (47.5%) of respondents say their organization has stated DE&I goals, the largest percentage (37.5%) say DE&I advancement is the responsibility of everyone in the organization.

“DE&I efforts should not be considered a ‘one-off’ training or event aimed at changing employee behaviors,” said Alina Polonskaia, Global Leader of Korn Ferry’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practice. “To be truly effective, DE&I needs to be woven into every aspect of an organization, from process and structure to business partnerships and community interactions.”

More than half of respondents (55%) believe that their organizations follow through on stated DE&I goals, but only 23% say middle managers are judged on key performance indicators (KPIs) relating to DE&I efforts.

“If done properly, there is a direct correlation between DE&I advancements and business success,” said Andrés Tapia, Korn Ferry Senior Partner, Global ESG and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategist. “The first step is to analyze the key issues a company wants to solve – such as growth, innovation or optimizing talent performance - and then define what outcomes are needed to solve those issues.”

About the survey: The Korn Ferry survey of 204 professionals took place in late January 2023.

Survey results:

What type of impact is the economic slowdown having on your organization’s DE&I efforts?

It is slowing down efforts                                                                                30%

It is increasing efforts                                                                                     15%

No impact                                                                                                       55%


Who is responsible for advancing DE&I efforts within your organization?

HR                                                                                                                   25%

CEO                                                                                                                  5%

Middle managers                                                                                            17.5%

Chief Diversity Officers                                                                                  15%

DE&I advancement is the responsibility of everyone in the organization      37.5%


Does your organization have stated DE&I goals?

Yes                                                                                                                  47.5%

No                                                                                                                   37.5%

I don’t know                                                                                                    15%


Does your organization follow through on steps to achieve stated DE&I goals?

Yes to a great extent                                                                                      15%

Yes to some extent                                                                                         40%

No                                                                                                                   15%

We don’t have stated DE&I goals                                                                   30%


Are middle managers judged on KPIs (key performance indicators) relating to DE&I efforts?

Yes                                                                                                                  23%

No                                                                                                                   77%


About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.

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