Survey shows Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs ineffective unless supported by sustained, accountable actions from the top down


Responsibility for effective DEI efforts starts with senior leadership but goes beyond that

Vancouver, British Columbia, April 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A recent study commissioned by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) Canada, undertaken by research firm RKI, found that while senior leadership engagement and commitment on DEI is imperative, accountability for these programs extends across the whole organization.

81% of HR leaders stated that while senior leaders need to support DEI efforts, accountability is spread out with 82% of respondents stating senior leaders are accountable, while 61% indicate accountability lies with HR departments overall, and 49% believe accountability lies with employees.


Diversity also appears to be the secret to retention with 93% of respondents at well-diversified companies indicating this to be so, versus 72% at less-diversified companies. In addition, 82% of HR professionals believe the benefits of an inclusive approach leads to better workplace culture; 68% believe the benefits also include more innovation/creativity; and 66% believe it increases authenticity.

“Senior management and HR professionals across the country have a key role in working together to ensure that DEI efforts are authentic, sustainable, accountable, and evolving,” said Anthony Ariganello, FCPHR, CEO CPHR Canada. “This is particularly relevant since the data shows that organizations and its leaders are now gaining a better understanding of how DEI intersects with retention, recruitment, engagement, and how it drives an organization’s corporate culture.”

In terms of the costs of not pursuing a robust DEI strategy, or pursuing a partial DEI program, 70% reported the risk of homogeneity or group think occurring; 61% reported losing access to the best talent; and 55% reported losing current good employees.

Meanwhile in terms of recruitment, language and actions on DEI matter, with 68% of respondents in well-diversified companies reporting that using inclusive language is the top tactic for attracting all available talent and 50% of them reporting that they are also more likely to ensure their hiring panels are diverse.
And when it comes to retention, 41% of respondents at well-diversified companies and 65% at non-diversified companies, indicate that a lack of career advancement opportunities is the top reason for preventable loss of employees, regardless of diversity of senior leadership. The second reason cited as a challenge for retention, is mental health challenges due to workload/stress and trouble coping with work challenges, with 26% reporting this to be the case at well diversified companies while 49% reporting as such at non-diversified companies.

The RKI study was conducted online nationally between January and February of 2023 with a total of 1,328 respondents completing the survey, which has a +/- 2.6% margin of error.

To access a summary of the RKI findings, go to:


About CPHR Canada

CPHR Canada represents 31,000 members in the Human Resources Profession across nine provinces and three territories in Canada. Established in 1994, CPHR Canada is the national voice on the enhancement and promotion of the HR Profession. With an established and credible designation and collaboration on national issues, we are proactively positioning the national human resources agenda in Canada and representing the Canadian HR Profession with HR Associations around the world. For more information:

CONTACT: Anthony Arignaello, CEO CPHR BC & Yukon 1.800.665.1961 [email protected] 

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