Bersin Research


Deloitte, similar to organizations throughout the globe, is encountering shifts in demographics, globalization and employee expectations, while at the same time facing an ever-more competitive landscape. We recognize the value that comprehensive, research-based insights bring to enabling strategic talent decisions for organizations. To that end, our premier human capital research organization, Bersin by Deloitte, engaged in an extensive research initiative to better understand how to improve inclusion generally, as well as how to address the particularly challenging topic of unconscious bias. 


This extensive research effort began with a thorough review and synthesis of existing academic literature on topics of diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias. We also launched an online survey and engaged in research interviews with HR and D&I leaders, to better understand their specific challenges. After extensive statistical analysis, we were able to develop a clear, research-based definition of an inclusive culture and the specific 28 activities that surveyed organizations engage in to create it. Given these insights, our Bersin team produced a research report and is finalizing an associated diagnostic that helps organizations understand how to create an inclusive culture. 

Further, given the research findings, the Bersin team engaged in an additional study of unconscious bias and produced a primer that summarizes the effects of unconscious bias on decision-making in the workplace. This primer offers guidance on how organizations can address the challenge of unconscious bias in the context of talent management practices such as talent acquisition, learning and development, performance management, compensation, promotion and succession management. The report serves as a starting point for executives who want to address the issue of unconscious bias in their organizations but may not know where to start or where they can make the most impact. By focusing on primary and secondary research, Bersin provides concrete evidence that executives can leverage to support any change initiatives that may be undertaken and offers tangible ideas for mitigating unconscious bias in specific talent practices.  


Armed with this knowledge, we are now leveraging what we learned to evaluate and adapt our internal practices (e.g., note additional Deloitte submissions such as “Inclusion Councils”). We are also making this research readily available to other organizations in collaboration with this CEO Pledge. We recognize there is more we can do and share on the topic of unconscious bias to foster inclusive workplaces across the globe.

For more information on Bersin and our research, please visit for details on our membership services and samples of our research offerings.


Linda Bohnert

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