The State of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion: A Mid-Year Check-In

At the start of the year, employers across the country declared diversity and inclusion (D&I) a priority for 2018. It was such a popular goal that LinkedIn’s 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report named diversity as “the biggest game-changer and most embraced trend” in hiring.

Of course, improving D&I has been a key objective of savvy businesses since well before January. Beyond the moral and ethical considerations, research supporting the benefits of hiring for and welcoming a variety of perspectives has been rolling in for years. A 2015 McKinsey report, for example, stated:

“Our latest research finds that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.”

We’ve finally reached a threshold of awareness though, it seems, and now nearly everyone has launched their own D&I initiative.

So how are things going? Are we making real progress? We conducted a mid-year news check-in to find out (or to at least get a sense of where things stand). Below, we’ve outlined the main themes that emerged in our analysis of D&I-related news coverage from the first half of the year (January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018). We’ve also included the individual stories around the year’s biggest D&I developments thus far. On the whole, it seems like positive things are happening — but we’ve got a long way to go.

Glancing through this list will give you the 30,000-foot view of things, but we encourage you to dig into a few of these pieces. Perhaps they’ll provide some pointers for your own D&I efforts …


Hiring is Hot for D&I Leadership Roles

To head up the many newly launched initiatives, companies are creating leadership roles specifically focused on D&I. Hiring announcements for these positions — often involving top talent — dominated the coverage we analyzed.

Top stories:


Broader Initiatives and New Tools are Popping Up

Beyond D&I programming within companies, broader industry groups are launching job fairs, training “tours,” and more. We’re also seeing new tech innovations built expressly for D&I.

Top stories:


Results are Rolling in on Recent D&I Efforts

Several articles, through both media reports and company self-assessments, looked at the progress thus far of newly hatched D&I initiatives. Some accounts were encouraging. Some were indicative of how much work there is left to do.

Top stories:


People Are Speaking Up and Speaking Out

Many pieces illustrated that employees (or in some cases, students) are feeling evermore empowered to push for action on D&I — and sometimes even to air the dirty laundry of unjust institutions.

Top stories:


We’re Hearing More About D&I Awards and Recognition

It’s pretty powerful to consider that D&I has become such an important topic that getting awards for it is its own news trend! From receiving formal recognition to landing on best-of lists, doing D&I well is clearly something the industry is enthusiastically celebrating.

Top stories:


Will 2018 be a banner year for D&I? It appears that things are at least heading in the right direction. It’ll be interesting to see if the momentum is sustained — we look forward to doing an end-of-year analysis!


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