The Relationship Between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Workplace

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, published a new study, Improving Workplace Culture Through Evidence-Based Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practices, examining the relationship between diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices and a variety of workplace outcomes. The study reveals key findings and provides recommendations for managerial DEI actions designed to improve workplace culture.

The study seeks to understand how U.S. companies are defining five key concepts (diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and respect), implementing practices related to those concepts and measuring whether those practices are effective. Results show that new concepts in the U.S. often emerge in accordance with prominent social movements and highly publicized workplace challenges. Findings also reveal a range of demographic differences across the study’s key concepts, which include:

  • People of color report greater access to DEI practices than white employees. In many cases, Black employees feel that they have greater access to DEI practices than all other racial groups.
  • People of color and women more strongly agree that they engage in “speaking up” behavior at work (e.g. speaking out against bias or promoting DEI in hiring processes and practices). However, white women more strongly agree that they engage in helping behavior at work relative to women of color.
  • People of color, particularly Black employees, report greater turnover intent relative to white employees.

Research for the study was conducted by Wharton between September 2018 and January 2021. More than 30 diversity, talent and analytics experts and 6,600 working adults around the world have participated in the study to date.

View the complete findings and explore Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Wharton here: