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What’s Your Why Not (4 of 4) | Hate It or Harness It – Diversity Matters

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Unfortunately, there are no concrete statistics on the number of companies that engage in diversity washing. It is a difficult practice to measure because it often involves making superficial changes or efforts to appear diverse and inclusive, without actually making meaningful changes to the company's policies, practices, or culture.

However, some studies have shown that many companies are falling short when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example, a 2019 report by McKinsey & Company found that only 5% of global companies had achieved gender diversity in their leadership, and only a small percentage of companies had made significant progress in racial and ethnic diversity.

Another study by Deloitte found that only 25% of companies have a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy in place, and only 34% of companies have set diversity and inclusion goals.

These findings suggest that there is a significant opportunity for companies to improve their efforts towards diversity, equity, and inclusion, and that many companies may be engaging in diversity washing instead of making real changes to their policies, practices, and culture.

Again, with all the “whys” for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, I propose that the question to be pondered and grappled with is What’s Your Why NOT? A good starting point would be the December 2020 Harvard Business Review article entitled Getting Serious about Diversity. In it, the suggestion is made that what matters is how an organization harnesses diversity and whether it’s willing to reshape its power structure.

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