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CEOs committed to diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion of growing importance for CEOs

CEO commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has grown over the past year, including increases in organizations building DEI into strategic priorities/goals (92%) and disclosing DEI metrics to employees (72%), consultancy Deloitte’s updated CEO survey shows. Concerning the overall situation, CEOs have lowered their high growth expectations.

Organizations that link DEI goals to performance and pay remain the exception (36%). Less than half (46%) have disclosed DEI metrics to the public. Over half (56%) of CEOs believe the focus on DEI outcomes is currently the appropriate amount, 26% believe the focus is too little, and 10% says it is too much.

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The survey comprises 116 CEOs. Findings:

  • About half of CEOs expect strong or very strong growth for their own organization over the next 12 months, down from 77% in June 2021 and 65% in January 2022.
  • More than 80% expect inflation to influence or disrupt their business strategy within the next 12 months.
  • While labour/skills shortage remains a top disruptor for 59%. Geopolitical instability and supply chain disruptions round out the list (49% and 45%, respectively).
  • When asked how the Russia-Ukraine conflict has adversely affected their organization, mental health implications for employees and families was mentioned most (32%).
  • Regarding the value of various tactics being employed to combat the Great Resignation, CEOs believe there is more to be gained by providing greater flexibility (83%) and training leaders to empower and engage workers (62%) as opposed to merely offering more financial-related incentives, such as increasing pay (26%), expanding benefits (23%), and offering referral bonuses (8%).
  • When asked about their organization’s succession plan readiness, 63% believe their board has a well-defined search process in place. However, only 54% believe they have a strong bench of viable/qualified CEO candidates. In terms of successor vision and demonstrated capability topping the list (95%), commitment to purpose and values (92%). The majority (68%) of CEOs also believe DEI will be a purposeful, thoughtful component of the selection process.
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“We may well indeed be observing today’s CEOs going through a shift from an unflappable optimist (always seeing opportunity in adversity) to a more vulnerable, servant leader. While still undisruptable,i this transformed CEO may possibly be more relatable and in touch with their many stakeholders, including workers, shareholders, customers, and communities. In this increasingly digital and virtual age, perhaps it isn’t surprising, and also a good thing, that we are seeing a more human side of today’s CEOs”, the report says.

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