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August 14 2022 - A report from the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) shows that fewer employees joined the mass exodus known as the Great Resignation from marketing organizations and departments where senior leadership teams were well-diversified.

The report about Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI), From Engagement to Retention: DEI's Impact on the Marketing Profession states that 51% of employees at organizations with well-diversified leadership had preventable staff loss during the COVID pandemic, in comparison to 75% in organizations where leadership was not diverse. About a quarter (24%) of employees with non-diverse senior teams said that their organizations made no efforts to retain minority staff. In comparison, just 1% of respondents from organizations with well-diversified senior leadership teams said the same.

Sartaj Sarkaria, acting chief operating officer and chief diversity officer, CMA said:

"Our research clearly demonstrates that impactful and meaningful DEI initiatives begin with intentionally making room for diversity at the leadership table. This can take many forms, including appointing a senior DEI lead, requiring diverse hiring slates for executive roles and ensuring that decision-making processes include diverse voices and perspectives."

Other findings in the report included:

  • Higher employee engagement: 12% of respondents with diverse leaders felt less engaged compared to 52% where diversity was low.
  • Higher standards of behaviour: only 25% of those with diverse leaders reported instances of 'micro-aggression' in comparison to 63% with low-diversity leadership>
  • Appropriate action when discrimination takes place: 100% of respondents were confident of such actions in diversified organizations compared to 49% where the leadership team was not diversified.

"We see from the research that a diverse and inclusive work environment has many benefits, including more innovation and creativity, a better understanding of customers and clients, and stronger employee morale," said Patrick Bhang, co-chair of the CMA's DEI committee.

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