A Look at 2023: Paradigm’s Clients Show the Measurable Benefits of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Last year (2023) presented a series of challenges for companies that wanted to build more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations: economic uncertainty and layoffs, unfounded attacks blaming DEI for everything from a bank collapse to antisemitism on college campuses , the ban on affirmative action, and activist lawsuits targeting corporate DEI efforts.

Many of these challenges were designed to discourage organizations from continuing their efforts. However, at Paradigm, we proudly partnered with more than 500 companies in 2023 who were resolute in their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Not only did they continue to prioritize this work, their progress exemplified the measurable, important impact diversity, equity, and inclusion programs can make. 

I’m proud to share just a sample of what some of our clients accomplished last year, from strategy initiatives that improved the representation and experiences of marginalized groups to training programs that helped employees understand what it means to support DEI and how to advance inclusion. I share these stories not only to celebrate our clients for the work they did this year, but also to remind organizations and people who care about this work that impactful work continues. 

Strategy Initiatives That Moved the Needle

Clients at every stage of their diversity, equity, and inclusion journeys invested in strategies tailored to their unique challenges and opportunities, from improving hiring and performance management processes to creating programs that fostered inclusion for underrepresented groups. Here is just a sample of the impact they saw in 2023:

A global beverage company improved employees’ sense of belonging — something that empowers employees to do their best work — by 7 percentage points. They also reduced differences in belonging between different demographic groups, closing the gap between Black and White employees’ belonging by 19 percentage points, and the gap between LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ employees by 14 percentage points. 
A transportation and logistics company improved veterans’ feeling of belonging by 19 percentage points and their sense of psychological safety — which helps employees ask questions and offer differing viewpoints — by 10 percentage points. They also increased all employees’ feelings of engagement by 8 percentage points. 
A financial services company that made great diversity strides in 2022 increased representation of underrepresented racial/ethnic groups by another 5 percentage points in 2023. They also improved the representation of women in leadership and technology roles by 4 and 5 percentage points, respectively.

While these individual stories of progress are exciting, we also like looking at progress in aggregate to see how companies across industries are improving. For companies that use our Blueprint platform to assess and manage diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, we saw incredible progress. On average, we saw a 9 point improvement to organizations’ maturity scores, with some companies seeing improvements as high as 25 points, in just a year. 

DEI Training With Measurable Results    

We not only partnered with organizations on their DEI strategies, we also trained hundreds of thousands of their employees with our blended learning platform Paradigm Reach and live workshops facilitated by our expert consultants. 

Looking across companies, we saw measurable progress related to the three outcomes effective DEI training should produce: awareness (a greater understanding of core concepts), motivation (a greater intention to take action), and enablement (feeling equipped with concrete strategies or tools to take action). When we look at what learners have to say before and after our trainings, we find that after a Paradigm training:

There was a 26 percentage point increase in learners’ understanding of what it means to be an ally. 
There was a 29 percentage point increase in learners who said they should take action to promote inclusion at work.
There was an 11 percentage point increase in learners’ belief that knowing how to manage their own unconscious biases will help them be more effective at their job. 
There was a 15 percentage point increase in learners’ understanding of how to use strategies to address sexual harassment if they experience it at work. 
There was a 24 percentage point increase in people managers’ understanding of strategies to use to manage unconscious bias in the performance management process.
There was a 31 percentage increase in learners’ understanding of strategies they can use to foster an inclusive workplace.  

These findings only reinforce the importance of training that both raises awareness and and equips people to take action. When people understand what it means to support DEI and how an inclusive workforce will improve their effectiveness at work, organizations face less friction in pushing forward DEI efforts. And when training focuses on specific strategies and tactics, people then have the tools to turn good intentions into concrete actions that foster inclusive cultures. To learn more about our outcomes-driven approach, download our Keys to Effective Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education white paper (or schedule time to speak with one of our experts!)

As companies committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion navigate anti-DEI rhetoric, we hope these data show that progress is possible, it’s measurable, and it results in a workforce that is more diverse, engaged, and empowered to do their best work. 

We’re extremely proud of the progress our clients made in 2023, and are looking forward to helping even more organizations move the DEI needle in 2024 and beyond.

February 21, 2024

If you’re interested in driving DEI impact for your organization, contact us today!

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