MRA’s 2023 DEI Hot Topic Survey Shows Seven Percent Increase in Organizations Implementing DEI Initiatives

October 24, 2023
Press Release
Diversity and Inclusion
Read time: 4 mins


Media Contact: Kathryn Klopfer, Marketing Communications & PR Manager
[email protected] | 262.696.3426

MRA’s 2023 DEI Hot Topic Survey Shows Seven Percent Increase in Organizations Implementing DEI Initiatives

MILWAUKEE, WI (October 24, 2023) – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) remains a hot topic based on the more than 475 attendees at MRA’s annual DEI Leadership Conference and the 325 organizations that participated in MRA’s newly released DEI Hot Topic Survey. This year’s survey results show that 21% of organizations have implemented a formal DEI initiative, a 7% increase from the previous year.

“It’s exciting to see the continued energy that is behind DEI and hearing from organizations no matter where they are on their DEI journeys,” said Diana Small, MRA’s Regional Executive Director. “In my 30-plus years in HR, I am inspired now more than ever by the efforts I am seeing.”

“It’s not about checking a box. It’s about creating a real space where all employees feel welcomed, appreciated, supported, and encouraged to contribute their true selves,” added Small. “When that happens, creative problem-solving takes place, innovative ideas are shared, and it’s proven that productivity increases. That’s a win for us all!”

MRA’s findings suggest that it’s crucial to establish goals and metrics to measure the success of a DEI program. Having dedicated individuals or departments responsible for DEI initiatives can ensure that the goals and metrics are sustainable while ensuring milestones are achieved.

Organizations have various reasons why they are investing in DEI efforts. According to MRA’s survey, the top three are:

  1. HR team/Senior Leadership is vested in building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture (82%)
  2. Efforts to build an inclusive culture (66%)
  3. The challenges of recruiting/retaining diverse talent (40%) and It’s in our corporate mission/vision/values (40%)

The top five DEI initiatives organizations have implemented or are considering include:


In the most recent 12 months

In the coming 12 months


Offered training on DEI topics for all employees (65%)

Offering training on DEI topics for leaders (53%)


Established regular meetings for our DEI team to enhance DEI initiatives and programs (60%)

Offering harassment prevention training for all employees (42%)


Offered harassment prevention training for all employees (45%)

Offering training on DEI topics for all employees (38%)


Offered training on DEI topics for leaders (44%)

Measuring results against goals and reported out (37%)


Established metrics around hiring employees from diverse backgrounds (39%)

Establish metrics around hiring employees from diverse backgrounds (30%)

Developing a long-term strategy that engages employees and leadership and aids in finding the proper method of communication can take time and effort. Fifty-nine percent of organizations have turned to professional peer groups when building a DEI program, while 49% have used a DEI consultant to help implement it. Forty-two percent of organizations face the challenge of engaging employees, while 40% say they have a challenge engaging leadership.

The preferred method to overcome the challenge of engaging employees is to offer DEI learning opportunities for supervisors and employees, followed by company-provided resources. The most offered trainings include:

For Employees

For Supervisors

Creating a respectful workplace


The effects of discrimination/bias in the workplace

Creating an environment of inclusion/ belonging

Unconscious bias

Emotional intelligence

Maintaining a successful DEI program takes ongoing attention and commitment.

Added Small, “Start wherever you are, but start now! DEI is not easy, but there is value in investing in DEI efforts. Regardless of where your organization is in the process, ensuring your employees are heard, appreciated, and valued can help lay the groundwork for a successful program.”

MRA’s Hot Topic DEI survey was conducted September 18-22, 2023, with 325 organizations participating in the 12-question survey. For more information or to receive a more detailed copy of MRA’s 2023 Hot Topic DEI Survey, contact the Survey Department at 800.488.4845 ext. 3508 or email at [email protected].


About MRA—The Management Association: Founded in 1901, MRA is a nonprofit employer association that serves 4,500 employers, covering more than 1 million employees worldwide. As the largest employer association in the nation, MRA helps its members thrive by offering comprehensive HR services, talent management, learning and organization development opportunities, and total rewards planning. MRA helps organizations build a successful workplace and powerful workforce. Headquartered in Wisconsin, MRA has regional offices in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio. To learn more about MRA, visit