Here’s how DE&I priorities are implemented across the enterprise

We asked communicators in the 2021 Communications Benchmark Report about their DE&I goals and priorities. One strong focus: Town Halls and CEO chats.

By Tony Silber      
Ragan benchmark report DE&I data

Early this year, communicators indicated that they view a strengthened focus on DE&I as the biggest likely change in the profession for the next three-to-five years. They likewise indicated that it’s a top priority at their organizations.

Indeed, 71% of respondents in Ragan’s 2021 Communications Benchmark Report reported that they increased DE&I initiatives in 2020.

But the Benchmark Report, based on a survey in January and February with more than 750 responses, didn’t stop there. It sought to understand how DE&I initiatives manifested themselves in organizations. It turns out that open conversations within the workplace, and CEO chats, were among the most common initiatives. This was followed by a variety of other methods, including bias training, the expansion of employee resource groups, and modification of talent, retention and advancement policies.

Larger organizations (those with more than 10,000 employees) are more likely to have dedicated DE&I executives than smaller ones, where those responsibilities are most frequently handled by HR. But the communications department has a hand in handling DE&I in both cases, with 16% of respondents overall saying that they either partner with HR or handle DE&I alone.

These are some of the fascinating and essential findings in the 2021 Communications Benchmark Report. DE&I and remote communications top the list. Brand journalism and advocacy are in the middle. Importantly, a significant number of respondents, 26% view the burgeoning field of workplace wellness as a major change for the communications discipline in the years ahead.

[EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Communications Benchmark Report 2021]

These findings are just a small fraction of the key findings from the third annual Communications Benchmark Report, an exclusive study from Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council, that reveals a range of sentiments and best-laid plans during a very dynamic time.

Download a copy of Ragan’s third annual Communications Benchmark Report executive summary here. To obtain a full copy of Ragan’s 2021 Communications Benchmark Report become a member of the Communications Leadership Council. Click here for more details.