Diversity Programs Now Essential in Corporations

Study Shows that Most Companies Either Have or Will Expand Diversity Strategies Thanks to Globalization

SEATTLE, WA (Sept. 24, 2008) - As corporate workforces start to resemble Olympic villages, diversity programs are becoming a mission-critical piece of most organizations. Nearly three- quarters of all responding companies and a whopping 85% of firms with 10,000 or more workers have either expanded the scope of their diversity strategies thanks to globalization or have plans to do so, according to a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).

Diversity programs have become an essential strategy in today's heterogeneous and increasingly global marketplace. The study found that almost half (48%) of all polled companies have a diversity strategy in place on both domestic and global fronts, a number that jumps to 59% among large organizations. Conversely, just 23% of responding companies overall report they have no diversity strategy at all, and the number shrinks to just 11% for companies with more than 10,000 workers.

"Diversity programs have gone from nice-to-have to must-have for most firms," said Jay Jamrog, i4cp SVP of Research. "Strong diversity strategies help in the attraction and retention of top talent as well as customer relations, and companies not paying attention to that are missing the boat. What is a bit shocking is that almost a quarter of companies have yet to address the issue."

At the top of the perceived benefits of bolstering a global diversity strategy is the creation of stronger relationships with partners and customers, with 71% of companies affirming the importance of this reason to a high or very high extent. Providing the ability to attract top talent via reputation as an employer of choice was similarly cited by 70% - increasing to 75% among large companies - while 64% of companies said their global diversity strategy supports their culture and branding efforts to a high or very high extent.

Chief among the challenges to global diversity strategies is the lack of universal measurement, reported by 36% of all respondents as being an issue to a high or very high extent, increasing to 42% among large companies. A "varied acceptance" of diversity initiatives was pointed to by 36% of all respondents, while a third of companies said cultural barriers present hurdles.

The Taking the Pulse: Global Diversity survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in August 2008. The total number of respondents was 176. Approximately 51% of responding organizations reported an employee base of greater than 10,000. The full results of the survey are available exclusively for all i4cp corporate members.

About i4cp, inc.

i4cp is the world's largest vendor-free network of corporations focused on improving workforce productivity. Our vendor-free community facilitates innovation by giving our members - among the largest and most respected organizations in the world - access to:
  1. Peers to spark new ideas and prevent "reinventing the wheel,"
  2. Research to enable members to understand current practices and next practices,
  3. Tools to put ideas and research into action,
  4. Technology to enable members to easily access tailored information and execute workforce strategies.

With more than 40 years of experience and the industry's largest team of human capital analysts, i4cp is the definitive destination for organizations seeking innovative ways to improve workforce productivity. For more information, visit http://www.i4cp.com/


Greg Pernula
Director of Research Services, i4cp, inc.
(727) 345-2226

Bill Perry
i4cp, inc.
(614) 975-7538
Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.