Employer practices

Executive Summary: The National Study of Workplace Equity


This executive summary captures findings from the National Workplace Equity Study, a joint project from the Center for Innovation at the Boston College School of Social Work and the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). The study finds that organizations struggle to maintain equity throughout the employment lifecycle. Surveying just over 1,000 organizations, researchers find that levels of equity vary across 10 discrete employment systems. Recruitment and hiring, compensation and benefits, and orientation and onboarding were ranked highest in terms of equity while resources and supports, job structures, and supervision and mentoring ranked the lowest. Other key findings in the study include: 

  • Nearly two-thirds of organizations say diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is important or very important, yet nearly the same percentage say their organizations devote little to no resources to DE&I. 
  • At least one-quarter of organizations report that their employers have experiences some form of gender, race, or age-related bias in the past two years. 

Researchers offer several recommendations for ways organizations can strengthen equity across employment systems, including: 

  • Create a climate of inclusion 
  • Communicate fairly 
  • Conduct equity audits 
  • Assign roles and accountabilities 

Read the full National Workplace Equity Study and a Boston College School of Social Work news story about the study.