Even with the continuing growth of DEI staff and departments among American corporations, and despite more than 2,000 corporate CEOs pledging earlier this year to support more inclusive workplaces across America, many U.S. workers feel their employers aren’t devoting enough energy, resources and funding to diversity, equity and inclusion.
In an attempt to determine the mood of the American workforce when it comes to DEI, British software company Advanced conducted a new survey titled “The Advanced Trends Survey Report 2021.” The study involved 256 senior decision-makers working at companies with more than 100 employees. The research was designed to not just see how employees felt their employers were doing when it came to DEI but also to assess the guiding principles that determined how those companies operate on a daily basis.
“Disappointingly, for many, the findings from the report showed that only half (51%) of respondents believed that improving D&I is a business priority over the next 12 months,” researchers reported.
According to the company, “only a quarter (25%) of 18–24-year-olds believed that the leadership of their organization is prioritizing inclusion and diversity at all levels, compared to almost half of those (45%) in senior roles.”
In a press release summarizing their data, Advanced’s “research findings also indicated that younger employees are much more likely to be aware of the steps being taken to address diversity and inclusion within the organization. In fact, 100% of respondents surveyed in the 18-24 age bracket say they do know whether their company publishes a diversity pay-gap report, while a fifth (20%) of those over 55 did not know.”
While those numbers might sound bleak, there was some good news to come from the report as well. A vast majority of those surveyed (84%) said that they believed their company “is taking the proper steps towards creating a more diverse workforce.” An additional 74% of survey respondents reported that their organization had taken some effort in reducing unconscious bias in the workplace.
“Diversity and inclusion can no longer be ignored, and we must act now to ensure that these issues are addressed. Time and time again, we have seen that inclusive workplaces are better for people and better for business,” Gordon Wilson, CEO at Advanced, said in a statement. “Those organizations that deprioritize their focus on D&I will suffer irreparably, as they lose out on opportunities to find and source the best talent, innovate and uncover new products and services, and hamper their post-COVID-19 recovery.”
Additional key takeaways from the report:
- 28% of those surveyed say that hybrid working has helped raise the visibility of minority groups
- 1 in 3 people surveyed (31%) said that hybrid-working models helped them recognize the importance of improving services for workers with disabilities.
In summarizing his company’s findings, Gordon said, “like many businesses, Advanced is on a journey to improve its D&I. We have made significant progress, but still, more must be done within our organization and on an industry-wide level. To achieve diverse, thriving, and successful workplaces, businesses need to walk their walk and implement processes and policies that create an equitable and inclusive landscape. We must all continue to push forward to create lasting change.”