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The ROI of Inclusion: How to Align Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Business Results

This study looks at how organizations assess and leverage the return on investment (ROI) of their inclusion efforts, including but not limited to individual diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and culture change initiatives, to capture what organizations are currently doing as well as propose solutions and insights on how to better align DEI with business results.

Survey and interview analyses provide key insights on the following themes:

  1. How do organizations measure their DEI programs’ effectiveness? How consistent are these measures?
  2. What are some key barriers organizations face when trying to align DEI activities and business results?
  3. How are organizational approaches evolving to address new workplace and workforce challenges?

The report also includes The ROI of Inclusion Tool Kit, a guide that applies the concepts from the ROI Institute‘s methodology to DEI initiatives and skills.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The positive connections between diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace and business results have been documented for years. But examining the business benefits of diverse representation without considering equity and inclusion provides a limited picture of DEI’s true potential. Creating a fair and inclusive work environment where workers of all backgrounds can contribute and succeed is vital—even more so now that diversity is the reality of many workplaces. Plus, business-case analyses often do not account for how lack of DEI can become a strategic risk to the business, whether in terms of brand reputation, innovation, or ability to fully engage the workforce. A return on investment (ROI) approach can help companies design programs and interventions to deliver results, while ensuring DEI long-term sustainability, executive buy-in, and a better alignment of talent, business, and organizational values.

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AUTHORS

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Laura Sabattini, PhD

Principal Researcher, Human Capital
The Conference Board

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Patti P. Phillips, PhD

Distinguished Principal Research Fellow
The Conference Board
President & CEO
ROI Institute, Inc.


The ROI of Inclusion Tool Kit

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