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Employees and Job Seekers Value Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces

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diverse and inclusive workplaces

Organizations that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion are more likely to attract qualified job seekers and retain employees, highlighting one of the key benefits of embedding D&I in recruiting and hiring and other business policies and practices.

A diversity and inclusion survey conducted in August by The Harris Poll for Glassdoor, the workplace ratings site, found that 76% of US employees and job seekers said a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. The percentage is higher for applicants and employees who are Black and Hispanic (80%) and LGBTQ (79%).  

Other key findings:

  • 47% of Black and 49% of Hispanic job seekers and employees have quit a job after witnessing or experiencing discrimination at work, significantly higher than White (38%) job seekers and employees. 
  • 71% of employees would be more likely to share experiences and opinions on diversity and inclusion at their company if they could do so anonymously.

Online employer reviews

Employee perceptions of organizations’ D&I efforts is also part of McKinsey’s recent report, Diversity Wins – How Inclusion Matters. The study includes an analysis of employee online reviews of employers in the financial services, healthcare and technology industries. While overall, employee sentiment on diversity was more positive (52%) than negative (31%), sentiment on inclusion was only 29% positive. 

Comments about equality, openness and belonging core elements of inclusion were areas of concern, McKinsey said. Negative sentiment about equality ranged from 63% to 80% across the three industries. For openness of the work environment, encompassing bias and discrimination, negative sentiment ranged from 38% to 56%. Belonging employees feeling accepted within a given group elicited overall positive sentiment, but from a small number of mentions.

Benefits of a diverse workforce

D&I workplaces can be good for business, with increased innovation and creativity, higher employee engagement and retention, and improved brand reputation and profitability. And, McKinsey says, organizations that foster D&I during the COVID-19 pandemic can emerge from the crisis stronger: “The shift to technology-enabled remote working presents an opportunity for companies to accelerate building inclusive and agile cultures — further challenging existing management routines. Not least, a visible commitment to inclusion and diversity during the crisis is likely to strengthen companies’ global image and license to operate.”

Changes are happening

As organizations consider how to address racial and social injustice and create a more equitable, inclusive workplace many organizations are already making changes or planning to, according to a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) survey of 1,275 HR professionals conducted in June. The survey found that 52% of organizations are providing or plan to provide new training on unconscious bias, equity, inclusion and other diversity-related topics, and almost half (49%) have added or plan to add training on these topics to existing educational initiatives.

Along with making training part of their D&I strategy, 25% of organizations are putting together new policies and systems to reduce systemic and institutional bias. Another 30% are modifying or expanding existing policies and systems, and nearly 15% of organizations have added or plan to add to existing funding for initiatives that support the Black community and racial justice.

Traliant Insight

Recent D&I surveys and reports underscore the value that job seekers and employees place on organizations that demonstrate their commitment to creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. Setting and achieving D&I goals should include reviewing communications, training, policies and practices to ensure they address unconscious bias, microaggressions, discrimination and harassment and work together to unlock the benefits of an inclusive culture.

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