Research Insights

Do your benefits support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? 

Benefits leaders believe DEI is important—and that benefits can play a role. But there are still gaps when it comes to using benefits to advance DEI initiatives. 

In partnership with 8Acre Perspective, HealthEquity recently surveyed 174 benefits leaders to understand their DEI goals and challenges. What they said offers powerful insight—highlighting potential gaps, but also pathways to enhance DEI with better employee benefits.

9 in 10 benefits leaders say DEI is key to their organization’s success.

The majority have at least one DEI program in place. Among those, 80% have a program focused on diverse recruiting and hiring.  

84 percent
84 percent

Has DEI program for fair hiring/recruiting practices 

Has DEI program in place

Most also agree that their benefits positively impact recruiting and hiring. 

To what extent do your benefits impact talent acquisition and retention?

Yet, a sizable number still say they struggle to achieve their diversity hiring goals.

We struggle to recruit and hire people to meet our diversity and inclusion goals

Is there a disconnect? Only 55% say that they use benefits to try to strengthen DEI.

Types of programs in place to promote DEI

Using fair recruiting/hiring processes

Sourcing job candidates from a wider variety of places

Working to ensure pay equity among employees

Offering a variety of benefits options to employees

Linking DEI more closely to benefits could help support DEI recruiting goals. 

Those who use benefits to promote DEI are more likely to offer HSAs. 

Offer HSAs

Health Savings Account (HSA)

Why HSA? 

  • Give lower-paid employees an immediate healthcare emergency fund.
  • Provide options for lower monthly health insurance premiums.
  • Build positive long-term savings habits.
  • Increase healthcare access and choice.
  • Offer significant tax savings to help offset inflation.*

Uses DEI


But there’s still a gap. More than half believe their efforts aren’t making an impact. 

To what extent do your benefits impact DEI goals?

One big challenge? Many feel lower-wage earners are underserved by their organization’s benefits.

Audiences HR leaders feel are underserved

This might partly owe to suboptimal plan design. Among those who offer an HSA: 

8 in 10 employers offer an HSA contribution. 

But only a tiny fraction offer income-tiered HSA contributions (meaning higher contributions for lower-paid employees). 

Varies HSA contributions by employee income



Not sure

The majority also say low understanding causes some employee groups to be underserved. Those who offer HSA say they struggle more to educate.

Reasons employees are underserved

Offer HSA: 81%

Do not offer HSA: 55%

Low understanding of benefits

Monthly healthcare premiums viewed as too expensive

Offer HSA: 52%

Do not offer HSA: 31%

Inadequate communication and education

Understaffed HR department

Not offering the right suite of benefits

The Office

This data reflects a need to optimize benefits plan design and prioritize education. How can benefits work better for all employees? 

HealthEquity can help. 

Our solutions empower businesses to optimize their benefits lineup to advance DEI and other strategic priorities. Plus we offer a comprehensive toolset that can help you make HSAs—and all your benefits—work smarter

Ready to act?

Discover a simpler, more rewarding benefits experience.

Survey participant profile

This survey was fielded Sept 2022. We polled 174 benefits leaders at businesses across the United States.

Employer size


Enterprise (5,000+ employees)




Mid-market (1,000-<5,000 employees)


Does not offer


SMB (<1,000 employees)



DEI programs

Decision maker




Non-decision maker




*HSAs are never taxed at a federal income tax level when used appropriately for qualified medical expenses. Also, most states recognize HSA funds as tax-deductible with very few exceptions. Please consult a tax advisor regarding your state’s specific rules.

HealthEquity does not provide legal, tax or financial advice. Always consult a professional when making life-changing decisions.

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