MRA’s Hot Topic Survey Shows 23 Percent of Organizations Are Well Established or Have Company-wide DEI Goals and Strategies in Place

June 08, 2022
Press Release
Diversity and Inclusion
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MRA’s Hot Topic Survey Shows 23 Percent of Organizations Are Well Established or Have Company-wide DEI Goals and Strategies in Place

MILWAUKEE, WI (June 8, 2022) — According to the most recent MRA Hot Topic Survey on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), companies are making DEI a top priority (9 percent have DEI embedded in their culture, 14 percent have a formal DEI initiative in place, and 18 percent plan to start within the next 12 months). Many others, 42 percent, have not yet started their DEI journey.

“While a top priority for many, others are just beginning to take steps to put a DEI plan in place,” said Lisa Pook, MRA’s Organization Development Director and DEI initiatives leader. “Just getting started can often be the greatest challenge, and there is no one program that works for every company.”

To be successful, MRA recommends that DEI initiatives focus on awareness and action. When well-executed, DEI can have a direct effect on the bottom line, engagement, recruiting, and the community.

Adds Pook, “Establishing goals and metrics is key to making any DEI program successful, but understanding the wants and the needs of employees, as well as having the support of leadership is crucial to a program’s success.” 

MRA’s survey also found that the top three drivers for DEI efforts in organizations are:

  1. The HR team/Senior Leadership is vested in building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture (19%)
  2. Focused efforts to build an inclusive culture (15%)
  3. Addressing the challenges of recruiting/retaining diverse talent (13%)

The top three DEI initiatives that organizations have implemented in the most recent 12 months include:

  1. Establishing regular meetings for the DEI team to enhance DEI initiatives and programs (14%)
  2. Offering training on other DEI topics for all employees (14%)
  3. Establishing metrics around hiring employees from diverse backgrounds (12%)

When building a DEI program, the majority (39 percent) of organizations have turned to a DEI consultant to help implement and develop a long-term strategy. Professional peer groups/organizations and community leaders have also proven to be effective resources.

According to the survey, the top two challenges organizations face with DEI efforts are: finding resources to build a program (19 percent) and engaging employees (17 percent). To overcome these challenges, 30 percent of organizations use training.

Organizations that offer training to employees most commonly offer training on the effects of discrimination and bias in the workplace (38 percent) and unconscious bias (28 percent) to supervisors; and creating a respectful workplace (36 percent) and unconscious bias training (26 percent) is the most common for employees.

“Regardless of where your organization is in the process, developing and maintaining a successful program is not easy and requires ongoing attention and commitment. Creating goals and metrics that ensure employees are heard, appreciated, and valued can help lay the groundwork for a successful program,” said MRA Survey Specialist Brittany Rittershaus.

For this Hot Topic Survey, 258 organizations participated in the 12-question survey, which was conducted May 17-23, 2022.To see the full survey results or more MRA Hot Topic Surveys,  visit the MRA website.


About MRA—The Management Association: Founded in 1901, MRA is a nonprofit employer association that serves 4,000 employers, covering more than 1 million employees worldwide. As one of the largest employer associations 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, and Minnesota. To learn more about MRA, visit