New Study Finds DEI Initiatives Work Better When Implemented in Groups

If you want to improve diversity, equity or inclusion within a company or organization, a new study conducted by the U.S. think tank Filene Research Institute suggests that you’ll have greater success by enacting a series of changes or programs versus attempting a single standalone initiative. 

Anca Voinea of Co-operative News reported on the Filene report, where researchers found that “diversity, equity and inclusion practices are most effective when implemented in clusters or bundles as part of an integrated, strategic approach.”

The group also found that within most businesses and credit unions, in particular, the combination of DEI strategy, goals and tracking improved not only the success of new diversity initiatives but also profit as a whole. This approach led to a higher return on assets and net income overall.

According to Voinea, “The research was carried out by Dr. Quinetta Roberson, who leads Filene’s Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and her collaborator, researcher McKenzie Preston. The study also emphasizes the importance of enterprise-wide alignment and the transformational power of DEI for the credit union value proposition and overall business model.”

In an interview with Voinea, UW Credit Union President and CEO Paul Kundert said, “The research suggests that taking this bundle approach — organizing DEI efforts across different sets of practices with performance measures — can offer a measurable impact on performance.”

Filene’s study surveyed 232 different U.S. credit unions and their partners. The study looked at how these organizations implemented their DEI practices, the success those programs enjoyed and significant changes in the businesses’ economic performance.

“Filene will continue to explore the topic via a second iteration of the Credit Union DEI Policies and Practices Survey, which will be launched in March 2022,” Voinea said. “This will look at other success metrics that are affected by DEI practice bundles — going beyond standard measures of financial performance such as ROA and net income. It will also look at how DEI practice bundles affect performance. For instance, it could enhance internal operations or improve services and messaging to members.”


Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.