The Latest DEI Research

Over the past few months, we’ve been sharing monthly roundups of research that, in one way or another, relate to our sector’s commitment to serving our communities. In that time, we’ve seen lots of new research focused—either specifically or cross-sectionally—on the critical topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Moreover, we know there’s a great thirst for information that can help us all be better informed and equipped to address persistent challenges in these areas. For that reason, we took a look at some of the DEI research we’ve found most insightful and practical from the first half of the year.

Delivering Through Diversity

One report we highlighted in our first research summary was Delivering Through Diversity from McKinsey & Company. This publication is an expansion of a forerunning 2015 report that documented the correlation between diversity and profitability. McKinsey defines diversity as “a greater proportion of women and a more mixed ethnic and cultural composition in the leadership of large companies.” What’s exceptional about McKinsey’s approach to diversity research is their emphasis on the business reason for diversity: It’s a proven enabler of growth and businesses who prioritize it are typically more competitive in their market. In contrast, the traditional rhetoric has emphasized the moral imperative for inclusion and diversity—the risk of which is positioning the goals more as “nice-to-do” or noble, but optional. Read the report.

More on the report
More Evidence That Company Diversity Leads To Better Profits

The Golden State Difference

With Upswell on our minds and due to take place in Los Angeles this November, we were very interested in the findings of Building Movement Project’s (BMP) first state-specific Race to Lead report. For those unfamiliar, BMP’s national-level Race to Lead report offers a snapshot of the racial leadership gap specifically in the nonprofit sector. California is often held up as a gold standard when it comes to inclusive practices. However, BMP’s report found that despite having a larger percentage of nonprofits led by people of color than the national average, the Golden State still lags in reflecting its population and service communities’ overall diversity in its nonprofit leadership. Read the report.

More on the report:
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California’s Nonprofits Still Not Quite Diverse, Despite Leading The Nation
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Confronting Truths About Racial Equity in Nonprofit Leadership (July 2017 Q&A with BMP’s Sean Thomas-Breitfeld)
•  California and the Racial Leadership Gap (April 2017 Q&A with BMP’s Frances Kunreuther)

Healing Our Divided Society: Investing in America Fifty Years after the Kerner Report

Earlier this spring, much was made of the 50th anniversary of the landmark report released by the Kerner Commission. In 1968, the Johnson-appointed commission was tasked with investigating America’s racial divide. The findings were disheartening. To follow up on progress, a group of researchers—including the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission—released a new report outlining evidence-based policies to reduce abiding poverty, inequality, and racial injustice. Read the report.

More on the report:
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50 Years After a Landmark Report on Race, Inequality Remains Entrenched
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IS on the Road: Kerner Commission at 50 (IS’s Mareeha Niaz recaps the “Kerner at 50” conference)

Annual Disability Statistics Compendium

Respectability’s analysis of the newest Annual Disability Statistics Compendium included a mix of findings to be excited about as well as areas in need of more improvement. On the plus side, the number of people with disabilities who entered the U.S. workforce in 2016 was up four times from the previous year. Nonetheless, the disability community still faces persistent barriers to employment. Only a third of all aspiring workers with disabilities are able to find jobs, and inclusion rates still vary significantly from state to state. Read the analysis.

More on the report:
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People With Disabilities Are Finding More Work, But There’s a Long Way to Go

 Systematic Inequality: How America’s Structural Racism Helped Create the Black-White Wealth Gap

Though most studies of the economic effects of structural racism focus on income gaps along gender and racial differences, the Center for American Progress examined systematic inequality through the lens of the wealth gap. Wealth—the measure of a person of family’s total net worth—is the backstop for unforeseen costs that income may not cover. Families with little wealth can have a hard time weathering, then bouncing back from job transitions, relocation, and personal emergencies. This report reveals that America’s racial wealth gap—already wide before the Great Recession of 2010—has only widened since. Read the report.

More on the report:
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Report finds racial wealth gap hasn’t recovered to pre-Great Recession levels

2017 Tech Nonprofit Diversity Report

The tech sector overall has some well-known diversity challenges. Only 17 percent of for-profit tech company founders are women. Of the same population, 13 percent are people of color. In contrast, the nonprofit tech space is 47 percent female-founded, 39 percent minority-founded, and only 30 percent white male-founded. Asked why women and minorities are so well-represented in this space, one of the report’s co-authors told A Plus that women and people of color are statistically at an intersection that makes them more likely to be tech entrepreneurs. Those groups still represent the populations that most commonly experience social issues firsthand, and tech entrepreneurs typically spearhead work that addresses problems they’ve personally experienced. The full report also drills down on fundraising trends across sectors and demographics. Read the report.

More on the report:
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Women And Minorities Are Leading The Charge For Socially Impactful Tech

State of Black America

Last month, National Urban League published its annual State of Black America report. Using data from several government agencies (i.e. CDC, BLS, Census Bureau), the report attempts to measure full equality with white people across areas of economics, health, education, social justice, and civic engagement. The percentage of full equality across these measurements is what the report authors call the equality index. Since 2017, the equality index for black Americans remains unchanged at 72.5 percent. For comparison, the equality index of another minority community—that of Hispanic Americans—rose by almost a full percentage point from 78.5 percent in 2017 to 79.3 percent for this year’s reporting period. Read the report.

The Business Case for Racial Equity: A Strategy for Growth

A new study by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Altarum Institute indicates that Michigan could gain $92 billion in economic output by 2050 if racial disparities in health, education, incarceration, and employment are eliminated. This study, released in the final days of May, builds on a Michigan-centric study from 2015 and correlates with a national-level report Kellogg and Altarum put out in April. The national study estimates that the U.S. could stand to gain $8 trillion from the same interventions and time frame for targeting racial disparity projected in the Michigan study. Read the report.

More on the report:
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Eliminating racial disparities would have big economic payoff, Kellogg/Altarum study says

For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly

In a March article for Harvard Business Review, Joan C. Williams and Marina Multhaup speak to how a familiar pattern in gender bias can play out in workplace responsibilities. Williams and Multhaup describe it as an “assignment gap,” where women and people of color tend to get assigned the office equivalent of “housework”—the necessary, but unsung work that happens out of the public eye and keeps the lights on. In contrast, white men are still more often tasked with what Williams and Multhaup call “glamour work,” which is typically more out in the open and rewarded. Williams and Multhaup identify a few different levers organizations can pull to reverse the trend and cite engagement and retention as two benefits that should incentivize employers to act. Learn more about the Workplace Experiences Survey.

More on the report:
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For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly

Race-Class Narrative Electoral Findings (California)

For the past year, Demos has worked with communications expert Anat Shenker-Osorio and Dog Whistle Politics author Ian Haney López with the goal of building a new narrative on race, class, and democracy. Through April and May of this year, the partners field tested a range of narratives with California adults and compared them to existing frames to, seeking to understand what contributes to solidarity, reduces scapegoating and division, and what ultimately works as a foundation for garnering buy-in for progressive policy. Demos released the results of the California survey on the last day of May. Read the findings.

Types: Blog
Global Topics: Data, Leadership Development, Nonprofit Capital, Public Policy, Race, Equity, and Inclusion