Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) represent a transformative paradigm that has gained prominence in today’s workforce. As organizations strive to foster environments that embrace differences, DEIB initiatives have become essential in addressing historical disparities and promoting a culture of equality. The DEIB future is poised for continued evolution, emphasizing not only diversity but also a genuine commitment to equity and inclusion. As society evolves, businesses are recognizing the strategic importance of cultivating diverse talent, fostering an inclusive workplace, and ensuring equitable opportunities for all employees.
So, what’s next for DEIB? The trajectory of DEIB in 2024 is indicative of a broader cultural shift toward recognizing the inherent value of diverse perspectives and creating environments that empower individuals, irrespective of their background, to contribute their unique talents to the collective success of organizations. Keep reading to see what we expect in the new year.
What Is DEIB?
Before we dive deeper into future DEIB trends, let’s first break down what DEIB stands for.
- Diversity encompasses differences in race, gender, age, background, and more.
- Equity seeks to ensure fairness and impartiality in opportunities and outcomes.
- Inclusion focuses on creating a culture where diverse voices are heard and everyone feels valued. According to Gartner, inclusive teams see a 30% higher performance rate.
- Belonging means feeling accepted, regardless of what an organization has done to look good on paper.
10 Top DEIB Trends
These are the 10 DEIB trends we are seeing now and can expect to see even more of in 2024:
- Intersectionality Emphasis: Organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of intersectionality—the interconnected nature of social categories such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. DEIB efforts are evolving to acknowledge and support individuals with multiple marginalized identities.
- Data-Driven Strategies: Companies are placing a greater emphasis on collecting and analyzing data to measure the impact of their DEIB initiatives. This includes tracking diversity metrics, conducting regular surveys, and utilizing analytics to identify areas that require attention.
- Inclusive Leadership Training: There is a growing focus on providing leadership training that emphasizes the skills and knowledge necessary for creating and leading diverse, inclusive, and equitable teams. This includes training on recognizing unconscious biases and fostering inclusive leadership behaviors.
- Global DEIB Considerations: With organizations expanding their global footprint, there’s a heightened awareness of the need for diversity and inclusion initiatives that are culturally sensitive and relevant on a global scale. This involves understanding and addressing diversity issues unique to different regions and cultures.
- Remote Work Inclusivity: The rise of remote work since COVID-19 has prompted a focus on making DEIB efforts inclusive for virtual teams. Companies are exploring ways to ensure that remote employees feel connected, included, and have equal access to opportunities. While many companies are easing back into in-person work, we still anticipate remote work in 2024.
- Supplier Diversity: DEIB initiatives are extending beyond internal practices to include supplier diversity. Companies are actively seeking to work with diverse suppliers, thereby supporting a more inclusive business ecosystem.
- Mental Health and Well-Being: Organizations are recognizing the impact of DEIB on mental health and well-being. Initiatives that promote a supportive and inclusive work environment, along with mental health resources, are gaining prominence.
- Transparency and Accountability: Stakeholders, including employees and customers, are increasingly demanding transparency and accountability in DEIB efforts. Companies are expected to communicate their goals, progress, and challenges openly.
- Accessibility and Accommodations: There’s a growing emphasis on making workplaces more accessible for individuals with disabilities. This involves not only physical accommodations but also fostering an inclusive culture that values diverse abilities.
- Social Justice Advocacy: Companies are more actively engaging in social justice issues and advocating for change beyond their organizational boundaries. This involves taking public stances, supporting community initiatives, and contributing to broader societal changes.
What’s Next for DEIB?
In 2024, Human Resources professionals aren’t just following DEIB trends; they’re spearheading the movement. We can expect a positive trajectory as well as some challenges. Here’s what the DEIB future will face:
Leaning Into the Hidden Workforce
In an era marked by historically low unemployment rates, as companies face an increasingly competitive talent landscape, there is a rising expectation for HR to redirect their focus toward a segment of the workforce that has frequently been overlooked—the concealed workforce.
Termed the “forgotten workforce,” this demographic constitutes 14-17% of U.S. labor, encompassing retirees eager to rejoin the workforce, caregivers, neurodiverse individuals, those managing long-term health issues (including those affected by long COVID), ex-inmates, and people without formal degrees.
These individuals either currently engage in the workforce but aspire to work more hours (often categorized as “hourly workers”) or have yet to participate but express a willingness to work given the right conditions. The expectation is that 2024 will mark a pivotal turning point, where this significant workforce will cease to be marginalized and overlooked—with the help of HR professionals.
The Turning Point for DEIB in 2024
- Dissatisfaction within DEIB departments is evident as major corporations like Amazon, X (formerly known as Twitter), and Lyft have downsized their DEI professional teams. Revelio Labs’ analysis of lay-off notices from over 600 companies revealed a 33% attrition rate for DEIB-related roles at the close of 2022, a notable contrast to the 21% rate for non-DEIB-related positions.
- On another note, Gartner has found that 44% of employees feel alienated due to their organization’s DEIB efforts. Moreover, 42% report that their peers perceive the organization’s DEIB endeavors as divisive, harboring resentment toward them.
- Lastly, a concerning trend emerges wherein diversity and inclusion officers either struggle to integrate themselves within their organizations or fail to recognize the true impact of their work.
Between DEIB-related lay-offs, resistance to DEIB initiatives, and diversity officers’ internal battles, how can HR professionals make a change?
How to Promote DEIB in Your Organization
Many companies do not systematically gather data on DEIB within their workplaces, making it challenging to gauge progress toward established goals without tangible metrics. Initiating data collection through surveys offers an avenue to assess various aspects of DEIB, encompassing factors such as race, gender, access to resources, and employee satisfaction. Establishing mechanisms like employee resource groups, diversity taskforces, and DEIB training programs serve as illustrative measures to actively promote DEIB within an organization. Setting metrics can also help diversity officers see their progress in real-time, which is both motivating and constructive.
We Can Help!
If your goal is to improve DEIB in 2024 at your company, team up with us at HREN. We’re proud to offer courses and test preparation to your HR team. Our services will address topics in the ever-changing landscape of the HR profession to keep your team up to date. In addition, we can:
- Assist in the creation of a customized content library
- Help you create your own internal content and/or trainings
- Webcast conferences and educational events