In June of 2021, the U.S. Chamber surveyed more than 30 organizations that are actively working to close the equity gap to understand how they feel their industry and the business community are doing to create equality of opportunity.
Most respondents believe that their industry is doing an average or better than average job in this area. For example, 48.8% of respondents said their industry is doing an average job (3, on a 5-point scale) in creating equality of opportunity, while nearly 40% said their industry was doing an above-average job (4 or 5 out of 5).
When asked about how they feel their industry is doing compared to a year ago, the results showed that top industry professionals feel they are doing much better compared to 2020. Overall, many respondents answered that the business community as a whole was doing an average or slightly above average job of creating equality of opportunity.
We also asked about what programs organizations have in place to help equality of opportunity efforts. The results showed that 80% had “Internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” programs, and 77.4% had “External Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” programs. In addition, 71% responded that their organizations had an “Expanding Educational Opportunities” program.
While Equality of Opportunity needs continual work, top industry professionals have an overall positive attitude about the work done in the past year. However, many still believe that their industry could do more to create equality of opportunity. Seventy-four percent of respondents selected “Understanding how to get started” as the factor that would help companies achieve even more at creating equality of opportunity. In addition, 71% selected “Identifying the right strategy.”
To increase the number of successful equality of opportunity initiatives at companies, we need to provide more resources and educational opportunities for companies to use their already established programs more effectively and create new ones when appropriate.