DE&I predictions for 2023 by HR pros

We asked HR and DE&I leaders about what excites (and worries) them heading into the new year.
article cover

Wildpixel/Getty Images

· 4 min read

As we bid farewell to 2022, we enter a new year marred with economic uncertainty and worries of waning DE&I prioritization. HR Brew asked a number of CHROs, CPOs, and diversity execs about what to expect when it comes to corporate America’s DE&I efforts.

Donald Knight, CPO, Greenhouse Software

“When it comes to IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and allyship) progress, 2023 will be a lagging indicator of the actions and decisions made by leaders in 2022. Inclusion happens when diversity, equity, and allyship are present, so expect workplaces with suffocating environments where there isn’t enough oxygen for everyone to speak up to lose talent in droves. On the other hand, companies that encourage people to speak up and then take action based on the feedback given will find it significantly easier to attract and retain talent. Genuine inclusion, not performative diversity, will accelerate growth for people-first companies. All others will see their ability to attract and retain talent globally extinguished.”

Kelie Charles, chief diversity officer, Bath & Body Works

“Companies are facing many challenges in this business environment, among them continued pressures from inflation impacting consumer spending and confidence, an uncertain labor market, and fostering employee engagement. Heading into 2023, it may be difficult for many companies to remain focused on diversity efforts as they try to balance their strategic priorities and initiatives. However, we believe it is important to do just that.”

Miriam Warren, chief diversity officer, Yelp

“There continues to be significant opportunities to address the most fundamental aspects of diversity, inclusion, and belonging with our most visible characteristics. At Yelp, we’re also directing more of our attention and efforts to less visible diversity dimensions, like disability. Remote work has already improved working conditions for many employees, especially caregivers and people with disabilities. We’re investing in programs and policies that uplift and create equal opportunity for people of all abilities.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

Our HR newsletter delivers need-to-know industry news and insights to HR pros every weekday for free.

“It’s also become increasingly clear that workers care deeply about the mission and values of their employer…This poses an unprecedented opportunity for organizations [to] attract high-quality talent by being clear and outspoken about the causes they stand for.”

Yrthya Dinzey-Flores, VP of DE&I, social impact, and sustainability, Justworks

“Addressing systemic inequity and bias will still be a big focus in 2023. Companies have made some progress in understanding the barriers that affect their progress in the area of DE&I, but…Questions will remain about how real a company’s commitment is to progress.

“In 2023, for small and medium-sized businesses…bridging the gap between the type of benefits employees need and want will be a priority.

“Returning to the office will likely still be top of mind in 2023…How will employers approach it, and will the decisions be made using an inclusive and equitable lens? I would encourage companies to consider how their return to office policies impact or affect different employees. As hate speech continues to impact Black, Asian, and Jewish employees, how will companies ensure they are supporting these employees as they journey back to the office?”

Laura Fuentes, CHRO, Hilton

“Looking ahead to 2023, we will see a more blended workforce and an increased prioritization of DE&I initiatives. At Hilton…we remain focused on holistic inclusivity in order to ensure that we have a broad representation for all team members. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, I’m excited about the opportunity to further codesign the work experience, where we listen to our team members’ voices and work together to shape our business for the future.”

Do you work in HR or have information about your HR department we should know? Email [email protected]. For completely confidential conversations, ask Adam for his number on Signal.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

Our HR newsletter delivers need-to-know industry news and insights to HR pros every weekday for free.