Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) topics have garnered increased attention globally over the last few years. Focus on sexism rose during the #MeToo movement, which took off in 2017, and the murders of George Floyd and other Black Americans in 2020 accelerated a global social justice movement focused on systemic racism. Combined with the way COVID-19 amplified the impacts of systemic inequities, DEI has become a far more central part of conversations in popular culture, politics, and workplaces.

While DEI has long been a material issue for business, how companies should demonstrate commitment to DEI and take actions that help create an equitable society has reached an inflection point. For corporate responsibility practitioners and other business leaders, this moment requires deliberate attention, evolution, and action.

This report explores the changing societal narrative around DEI and how that is influencing expectations of how companies address these topics within their organizations and beyond.

Through desk research, focus groups, and interviews, the report:

  • Delves into the key drivers behind the increased expectations for businesses;
  • Explores corporate progress to date; and
  • Examines common challenges companies face in implementing DEI initiatives.

The report also provides best practice examples and case studies for how corporations are integrating DEI considerations into their workforce, products and services, and supply chains as well as supporting DEI in the communities where they operate.