Survey Says Diversity is a Priority for Most Organizations

While COVID-19 has dramatically shaped the course of 2020, it wasn’t the only focus this year. For organizations of all kinds, 2020 brought a renewed focus on diversity in the workplace. In our latest 2020 survey, we sought to understand how important DEI issues are to employers today, and we published the results in our 2020 Hiring Benchmark Report.

We surveyed over 400 hiring professionals across all industries and from around the globe. On the topic of diversity, we asked how much these organizations prioritize the effort to increase diversity in the workplace. Here’s what we found:

Is increasing diversity in the workplace a priority for your organization?

32% of hiring professionals say that increasing workplace diversity is a “top priority,” while 46% say that it is “somewhat of a priority.” Just 22% say that it is not a priority. Adding the first two numbers together, a full 78% of hiring professionals say that diversity is at least somewhat of a priority for their organization, a clear majority.

We also wanted to know if different industries prioritize diversity more than others. The data confirmed that there was a significant difference from one industry to the next. Below is the percentage of respondents by industry who say that increasing diversity is a “top priority”:

Prioritizing diversity by industry

A large difference emerges in the chart. At the top, education stands out, with a full 60% of respondents in this industry saying that increasing diversity in the workplace is a top priority.

Technology comes next, at 43%. The technology industry has perhaps been the most vocal about its efforts to increase diversity. For decades, the tech industry has received criticism for not being diverse enough, which is likely why we’re seeing a greater proportion of organizations in this industry focusing on diversity efforts.

Many of the other industries fall into the 20-30% range, closer to the total average. Towards the bottom, however, we see that industries such as Transportation and Logistics and Real Estate prioritize diversity the least.

Beyond differences between industries, another pattern emerged from the data relating to company size. We found an extremely compelling relationship between company size and the likelihood that the organization prioritizes diversity. In other words, the bigger the company, the bigger the focus on diversity:

Percentage of respondents who say increasing diversity is a top priority by company size

For small companies with fewer than 20 employees, just 23% of respondents say that increasing diversity is a top priority. However, for large organizations with over 2,500 employees, the majority of organizations (52%) say that diversity is a top priority. A clear upward pattern appears in the data, with the importance steadily increasing as the company size increases.

This data isn’t necessarily surprising, but it confirms what a lot of us already experience anecdotally in the hiring world. Larger organizations don’t just have greater resources to put towards improving their diversity efforts. They also have larger employee populations, which makes it possible to evaluate their current diversity efforts in a meaningful way, and to measure their progress towards achieving diversity goals over time.

Want more data on hiring in 2020? Download your copy of the 2020 Hiring Benchmark Report.