Organizations’ Struggle with Diversity and Inclusion is Real – According to New Study by the HR Research Institute

Only 23% of human resources (HR) professionals view their own company’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) practices in the “advanced” or “vanguard” stages of D&I maturity.  Further, of those with direct responsibility for D&I, only 16% say more than half of their role is allocated to that function.

The free research report, State of Diversity & Inclusion 2020, is now available for download.’s Research Institute conducted the study of HR professionals to better understand the state of the D&I landscape, program maturity levels, and why so many organizations struggle with D&I initiatives.

The study also shows that not enough organizations are incorporating key D&I initiatives across the rest of the talent management function. Few say D&I initiatives touch talent acquisition (23%), talent development (21%), learning and development (19%), or succession planning (17%) to a high or very high degree.

The most commonly cited barrier to D&I effectiveness is a “lack of metrics to identify insufficient diversity” (34%), followed by a failure to prioritize at top leadership levels (31%) and lack of budget (28%).

Examining the processes that are working well and organizations that perform better in the area of D&I practices, results reveal that these companies:

  • understand the benefits of diversity and have support from the top
  • have D&I definitions that are more inclusive
  • integrate D&I frameworks into their business strategies
  • emphasize D&I in succession planning and talent acquisition processes
  • consistently communicate the importance of D&I throughout the organization
  • use more advanced metrics and set goals
  • provide training for inclusion awareness and policies
  • have programs to improve diversity in the leadership ranks
  • offer more family-friendly benefits

“In today’s times, leadership has to wake up to realize that diversity and inclusion initiatives are largely lacking in organizations,” stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of  “D&I in the corporate culture has to be filtered from the top down, and that includes adjusting budgets to account for that commitment.”

Download the full report which includes details on twelve key takeaways to help HR departments gain insights into how to achieve greater success and engagement through better D&I practices.



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For more information, contact:
Debbie McGrath
Chief Instigator and CEO,