It has long been known and accepted that diversity, equity and inclusion (D,E&I) is good for business.
However, it seems that this isn’t quite hitting home for many organizations, despite the need for them to stand out and compete in the unprecedented war for talent known as the ‘Great Resignation’.
A recent survey of 250 employees in the US by Advanced found that 74% believed that the main focus of their employer was business growth, not D,E&I.
Also, only half thought that D,E&I was a business priority in the next year; this dropped to 25% for 18- to 24-year-olds.
A similar study in the UK by Advanced found only 38% of leaders thought organizations were prioritizing D,E&I at all levels, and only 40% put D,E&I as the sixth highest priority in 2022.
Talking about the findings, Advanced CEO Gordon Wilson said: “Time and time again, we have seen that inclusive workplaces are better for people and better for business.
“Those organizations that deprioritize their focus on D,E&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.”
Reasons for optimism
However, Advanced’s research found isn’t all doom and gloom.
In both the US and the UK, employees believe that COVID-19 and associated remote working has been a net positive for diversity, and particularly helping employers to cater to workers with disabilities (31% for the US, 27% for the UK).
Also, employees in the US and the UK believed that employers were taking steps to make their workplaces more diverse. This is particularly in terms of reducing unconscious bias in hiring and diversity pay reports.
74% of US employees believed that their organizations were introducing policies and making actions in stamping out unconscious bias in hiring. This was also the case for 72% of UK employees; an increase from 66% from 2020.
HR tech is on hand to help companies with reducing unconscious bias; for instance, Applied, OnSkil and Alva Labs can help companies make the hiring process fairer and match the right candidates to the best jobs.
Wilson added: “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.”
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