Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts increased over the last two years in the corporate world, and for a good reason.
For too long, companies of all sizes had inequitable work environments that left employees without the necessary resources to bring diverse perspectives to work.
However, after the events of 2020 – such as a renewed focus on social justice and inclusion – organizations realized that their employee base wanted a more diverse workforce and that underrepresented individuals needed to be connected to equitable and meaningful work.
At Lever, we’re a purpose-driven organization focused on helping other companies improve diversity within their ranks. That sense of purpose spurred us to launch our first State of DEI report in 2021 to gauge how companies were thinking about and implementing DEI programs.
Our initial report found that several organizations were ready to launch DEI programs. And, despite competing priorities, DEI was among the top five priorities for employers surveyed.
These employers were committed to finding the top strategies to implement DEI measures, evident in diversity recruiting efforts, like eliminating bias in job postings and using technology to evaluate applications at scale.
In our newest report — “State of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: DEI Throughout the Employee Lifecycle” – we uncovered how DEI impacts hiring throughout the entire recruitment life cycle. We also examined the positive developments for DEI programs, as well as opportunities for employer efforts to improve to be even more inclusive.
Employers accelerate efforts to remove bias from hiring practices
Over the past year, companies made drastic improvements to their DEI initiatives. More companies offered DEI-focused hiring practices, more communication around DEI efforts, and increased training for onboarding experiences.
Bias in hiring practices has been a known issue, but the increased focus on increasing representation in the workforce accelerated the need to rectify this problem. Over the last year, employers made a concerted effort to remove bias from hiring.
Four in five (80%) employers say they provide communication about their DEI efforts during the hiring process.
Nine in ten (90%) employers provide communication around DEI efforts by directing prospective employees to a DEI page on their website.
In fact, 88% of employers ensured all job postings use inclusive language. And 74% of employers surveyed have proactively sourced candidates from less traditional backgrounds – an increase of 164% from the last year.
What’s more, 71% have anonymized resume reviews – an increase of 1% year over year, and 71% have replaced educational requirements with relevant skills or core competencies, which is a 97% increase from the previous year. Finally, 66% have posted jobs in nontraditional outlets.
Employers overcome communication hurdles for DEI
Last year’s report noted that one of the most difficult challenges was communication between employers and employees around DEI efforts. However, drastic improvements have been made in this area.
Some of the notable findings from the report include the following:
- 90% of employers provide communication around DEI efforts by directing prospective employees to a DEI page on their website – 40% YoY increase
- 79% shared their company DEI stats – 54% increase YoY
- 83% of employers think their company accurately depicts its diversity efforts
- 74% provided the DEI section of their employee handbook – a 64% increase from the last report
- 75% of employers require DEI training as a part of their onboarding experience – a 240% increase YoY
Overall, the data shows a positive trend and that employers are more aware of the importance of DEI and took steps to make their workplaces more inclusive.
More progress is on the horizon for DEI programs
DEI initiatives have made a positive impact within organizations. And while there are favorable developments, there is still room for improvement.
Combined with employee feedback, companies can strengthen their programs to become more effective and inclusive.