Report: Commitment to DE&I Is Intact

CEO and board support is still strong, says the World 50 Group’s Inclusion & Diversity Impact Report.

Buffy Naylor, Senior Managing Editor

July 27, 2023

7 Slides

Commitment to DE&I is intact, despite gloomy reports from the media. In fact, momentum seems to be on the rise. That’s according to the third annual Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Report released this week by the World 50 Group.

According to the report — which examines the perspectives of members from the largest executive community of senior-most leaders responsible for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) — nearly three-quarters (72%) have increased their organization’s investment over the past 12 months, despite today’s climate of economic and political uncertainty.

Direct reports to the CEO were found most likely to feel they have access to sufficient talent as well as support from their board, CEO, and other C-suite leaders. But only 41% of respondents — a decline of 8% from 2022 — said that middle managers were supportive. This highlights the need for improvement in middle management support.


World 50 Group’s Jennifer Newton

“This year’s survey shows DEI investments are steadily rising, demonstrating both commitment and understanding among large businesses,” said Jennifer Bird Newton, World 50’s chief impact officer. “However, continued focus, transparency, constant communication and accountability are necessary for lasting I&D change.”

Momentum for DE&I initiatives remains particularly strong in larger companies (above $50 billion in revenue) and is further validated by the 81% of leaders who said their DE&I budgets had either stayed the same or increased during this period. This is a 15% increase from companies that said they had sufficient funding for such efforts in 2022. Another notable fact is that 59% of leaders also reported having sufficient talent to support their DE&I initiatives, a 6% increase from the previous year.


World 50 Group’s David Wilkie

“We are at a critical inflection point for DE&I,” said David Wilkie, CEO of World 50. “What is evident is that those who are committed to this work are getting the support and resources they need to move forward.

“Building cultures of belonging takes time, and while there is still much work to be done, we are encouraged by the progress we continue to see.”

The World 50 is an invitation-only community for boards, C-suite officers and executives from the Global 2000. It represents more than 1,200 senior executives from 600 globally respected companies across six continents.

The report — a strong barometer for the ongoing significance of DE&I — offers additional insights, including the critical fact that companies are beginning to align on DEI measurement. Scroll through the gallery above to see more of those insights.

About the Author(s)

Buffy Naylor

Senior Managing Editor, Channel Futures

Buffy Naylor is senior managing editor of Channel Futures. Prior to joining Informa (then VIRGO) in 2008, she was an award-winning copywriter and editor, then senior manager of corporate communications for an international leisure travel corporation and, before that, in charge of creative development and copywriting for a boutique marketing and public relations agency.

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