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New Report Outlines Internal Audit’s Key Role Promoting DEI Across Organizations and their Stakeholders

Press Release The IIA Jul 17, 2023

The IIA, Internal Audit Foundation, and Deloitte establish best practices for internal audit teams

LAKE MARY, Fla. (July 17, 2023) — The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), Internal Audit Foundation, and Deloitte today released the final report in their three-part series on internal audit’s opportunity to help foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture by assessing an organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices, beginning with their own function.

Building upon the previous papers’ themes of how the profession can help shape corporate culture and foster inclusion in recruitment, retention, and development, the new paper – Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from the Inside Out – provides a roadmap for how the internal audit function can practically apply techniques from the ‘inside out,’ beginning within its own function and expanding outwards to the enterprise level and also to key stakeholders to support management in achieving its DEI objectives.

“Organizations increasingly understand that building a diverse, inclusive culture is a competitive advantage,” said IIA President and CEO, Anthony Pugliese, CIA, CPA, CGMA, CITP. “Internal auditors have an obligation to help their organizations benchmark their efforts and act as a catalyst for change, helping to drive progress and move the needle on their DEI goals. With their independent and high-level view of an organization, internal audit teams are uniquely positioned to not only support, but drive positive change.”

The report includes actionable steps the internal audit function can take to support DEI within their own teams, the broader organization, and among key stakeholders.

Internal Audit

The Chief Audit Executive (CAE) should determine if the internal audit function is leading by example. CAEs can assess the extent to which the function is engaging in and measuring the impact of DEI initiatives.

Organizational DEI

To assess how well the broader organization is incorporating DEI concepts and whether leaders are being held accountable for achieving DEI goals, there are questions the internal audit team can ask, including:

  • How are the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion being integrated into HR and other business processes and reporting?
  • Is senior leadership engaging with middle management to ensure the success of organizational DEI strategies?

Engaging Stakeholders

The internal audit team can prepare their organization to effectively engage with stakeholders, some of whom may have different goals, motivations, and opinions on DEI, by asking the following questions:

  • To what extent is the organization paying attention to diversity among the public, employees, customers, investors, and other important stakeholder groups?
  • Is internal audit challenging the business to consider stakeholders’ viewpoints on DEI?

By taking an ‘inside out’ approach and conducting periodic pulse checks to benchmark their organizational progress, internal auditors can help ensure that a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture is being fostered across their organization.

Download Report


About The Institute of Internal Auditors  

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is an international professional association that serves more than 235,000 global members and has awarded more than 190,000 Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certifications worldwide. Established in 1941, The IIA is recognized throughout the world as the internal audit profession's leader in standards, certifications, education, research, and technical guidance. For more information, visit   

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte & Touche LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of our legal structure. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.


James Schiavone 


The Institute of Internal Auditors