The Case for Continuing to Invest in DEI
In 2022, we had the opportunity to partner with 548 companies around the world, creating DEI strategies and equipping their employees with the skills they need to build more diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their organizations.
The Need for Diversity Training
While the types of organizations we worked with differed in size, industry, and where they were in their DEI journeys, they were all committed to making measurable progress on DEI and wanted to work with a partner who took a data-driven approach (read more about this approach in our free Data-Driven DEI Strategies white paper).
They wanted impactful strategies — and support from experts in implementing those strategies — in the two areas we believe are critical to effective DEI:
- Systemic and structural initiatives aimed at improving the processes and policies that impact their workforce.
- Equipping employees with the skills to advance inclusion in their interactions and decisions through effective DEI training and education.
Inclusion stands for all diverse groups and recognizes outcome disparities in every possible aspect. DEI and diversity training focuses on inclusion based on sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender identity, political perspective, national origin, and all other factors that create a unified yet diverse workforce.
We’re proud to share what our clients accomplished last year with support from the experts at Paradigm.
Systemic DEI Initiatives That Moved the Needle
Clients at every stage of DEI maturity invested in strategies tailored to their unique challenges and opportunities, from refining their hiring processes to creating programs that embrace diversity for underrepresented groups. Here is just a sample of the impact they saw last year:
- A financial services company increased the representation of underrepresented racial/ethnic groups by 4 percentage points.
- A consumer technology company increased the representation of women in leadership by 3 percentage points and the representation of women in technical roles by 2 percentage points.
- A fintech firm saw a 5 percentage point increase in people’s feelings of inclusion. Specifically, they saw improvements in feelings of belonging, opportunities and access to resources, and perceptions of fairness and equity.
- An environmental technology company saw its employees’ confidence in the organization’s DEI initiatives jump from 75% to 94%.
- A professional services firm improved perceptions about their commitment to DEI by 8 percentage points.
- A non-profit reduced the gap between men’s and women’s feelings of engagement by more than 10 percentage points and improved how employees feel about getting their voice heard by 20 percentage points.
DEI Training with Measurable Results
Overall, 88% of the companies we designed DEI strategies within 2022 have already implemented a range of new data-driven DEI initiatives, and 100% said they would recommend working with Paradigm. While progress won’t happen overnight, our clients are continually refining their DEI roadmaps based on their evolving data using Paradigm Blueprint, our platform for building, managing, and measuring DEI strategies.
While taking a systemic approach to DEI is critical, culture is ultimately shaped by the diverse backgrounds, different perspectives, and diverse talent every person brings to an organization. Therefore, it is equally important to empower people with skills for advancing equity and inclusion in their everyday work.
In 2022, we trained hundreds of thousands of people through our blended learning platform Paradigm Reach and live workshops facilitated by our expert consultants — 87% of learners said they would recommend Paradigm training to a colleague. While we always want to create content that feels valuable to learners, learner satisfaction isn’t our key measure of success. Instead, our focus is on designing learning programs that drive meaningful change.
We saw measurable progress related to the three outcomes effective DEI training should produce: awareness (a greater understanding of core concepts), motivation (a greater intention to take action), and enablement (feeling equipped with concrete strategies or tools to take action). Some of the key areas of impact we measured include:
- A 43-percentage point increase in people’s understanding of strategies they can use to foster inclusion
- A 27-point increase in people’s understanding of what it means to be an ally
- A 24-point increase in people’s understanding of strategies they can use to manage unconscious bias in hiring
- A 12-point increase in motivation to address unconscious bias
These findings only reinforce the importance of DEI training that goes beyond awareness-raising and equips people to take action. For example, before Paradigm training, 87% of people said they were motivated to foster an inclusive culture, but only 40% understood how. After training, 83% of people felt equipped to take action. Without training on specific strategies and tactics, people might have good intentions but struggle to foster inclusive cultures. To learn more about our outcomes-driven approach, download our Keys to Effective DEI Education white paper (or schedule time to speak with one of our experts!)
Future Considerations for Diversity and Inclusion Training
We’re proud to share the progress our clients made in 2022 and are looking forward to helping even more organizations move the DEI needle in 2023.
January 31, 2023