New Research Uncovers Necessary Skills for Businesses to Drive Systemic Progress for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB)

New report from RedThread Research and Degreed uncovers the actionable skills that build more diverse organizations, including assertiveness, grit, authenticity, and curiosity

PLEASANTON, Calif., Oct. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new report, Creating a DEIB Culture: The Skills Every Employee Needs, by RedThread Research and sponsored by Degreed, has uncovered the actionable skills that build more diverse and inclusive organizations. Separated by seniority level, the list highlights practical ways for leaders, workers and senior managers to understand and build the skills needed to drive diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) at every level of their organization.

Diversity is on the boardroom agenda at many leading organizations. Skills are a necessary but often overlooked component of achieving diversity goals. According to the report, organizations that foster greater diversity are 81% more likely to have higher customer satisfaction and employees are 45% more likely to remain at their organization.

By employee group, the top skills for driving a DEIB culture are:

  • Individual employee skills to act authentically: courage, authenticity, data literacy, pattern recognition, managing ambiguity and the ability to empower people.
  • Manager skills to explore new ideas: curiosity, influence, negotiation and grit.
  • Senior leader skills to push for change: mental flexibility, rapport building and assertiveness.

Additionally, two skills were found in all employees at all organizations with high DEIB — calculated risk-taking and nonverbal communications.

Susie Lee, SVP, Global Business Transformation & DEIB Executive Officer at Degreed said, “Traditional approaches to improving DEIB have fallen short at many companies. This new actionable skills data on inclusive organizations can be the catalyst that will finally drive change. And what’s really exciting is the actionability not just for HR, but across the entire business and for all job levels, because it’s only through making DEIB part of holistic business operations that true systemic change will occur.”

Janice Burns, Chief People Officer at Degreed said, “The business and societal benefits of having more inclusive organizations is now well-recognized but little has been done in terms of practical steps that leaders can take beyond hiring more diverse talent. I’m excited to see the impact this first-of-its-kind report from RedThread can have on driving change within DEIB efforts--across HR teams and the broader business community; it gives everyone a tangible way to build the foundations for an inclusive organization — one skill at a time.”

Both Susie and Janice will be speaking on this topic at Degreed LENS, held at the Intercontinental Hotel LA on November 11th. Reserve your event ticket here.

To read the full Creating a DEIB Culture: The Skills Every Employee Needs report, click here

Notes for editor:

Research Methodology

The Activating for DEIB report is a culmination of six months of qualitative and quantitative research beginning in March 2021. Starting with an exhaustive literature review of 60 articles, we then conducted extensive qualitative data collection, including two 80-minute roundtables which took place in April and May 2021, with 43 and 31 leaders, respectively, representing HR, DEIB, and learning in the first roundtable, and employees from all functions in the second roundtable. RedThread Research also conducted 60-minute interviews with 20 HR, DEIB, and learning leaders.

To collect the quantitative data, a 211 item survey was run from June to July 2021 covering organizational and individual demographics, organizational and individual performance, DEIB, skills importance and effectiveness, and other factors that could influence skills and DEIB. A total of 1,044 valid responses were collected.

For the skills portion of the survey, RedThread started with a list of close to 100 skills/competencies/behaviors that had been identified as critical during the qualitative portion of the research. Based on its own taxonomy, RedThread then grouped skills into “personal,” “interpersonal,” and “technical” and then minimized the list to 48 discrete skills that did not have any overlap and that satisfied four criteria:

  • Granular
  • What an employee does (vs. how a job is done)
  • A learned ability
  • Transferable within and across organizations

Respondents were asked within the survey to identify if a skill was important for themselves as individuals, their manager, and their most senior leader to create a culture of DEIB.

In the course of the analysis, RedThread created a DEIB Index, which included 6 questions designed to measure DEIB. These items include:
1. My org represents a diverse group of people (e.g., race, gender, age, disability, sexuality, education, religion, etc.).
2. People from all backgrounds and with a range of identities have equitable opportunities to advance at my org.
3. I feel respected by my colleagues.
4. I feel my unique background and identity are valued at my org.
5. I feel a sense of belonging at my org.
6. I feel included in the discussions and decisions that impact my job.

RedThread arrived at its conclusions by blending together insights from the quantitative and the qualitative research streams.

About Degreed
Degreed is the workforce upskilling platform for one in three Fortune 50 companies. We connect all your learning, talent development, and internal mobility opportunities to intelligence on the skills your business needs next. And we do it all in one simple, fluid, skill-building experience that’s powered by your people’s expertise and interests. So you can transform your workforce from within. Founded in 2012, Degreed is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, with additional offices in Salt Lake City, New York, London, Amsterdam, and Brisbane.

Learn more about Degreed: Website | YouTube | LinkedIn | Twitter

About RedThread Research
RedThread is a human capital research and advisory firm that listens to you and understands your business. We’re experts in talent management, learning, and diversity and inclusion and the technologies that support them. But more importantly, we’re truth-seekers and storytellers in a world where there’s a dearth of the former and much of the latter is sort of bunk. We use technology and collaboration to make connections between people, data, and ideas — even among seemingly unrelated concepts. We focus on providing high-quality, unbiased foresights that you can implement for a stronger business. For more information, please visit us at Follow RedThread on Twitter at @RedThreadRe.

Sarah Danzl
Head of Global Communications, Degreed