Diversity, equity and inclusion has rocketed up the agenda in recent years. While there has been some progress, exclusive and discriminatory behavior still exists in the workplace.
Remote surveyed 1,250 hiring managers, employees and business leaders in Europe and North America and found that 49% of job hunters have experienced discrimination during the recruitment process – this is higher in the US, France and the UK.
Globally, 52% have witnessed discrimination during hiring processes. Interestingly, men experienced more discrimination than women: 52% vs 44%.
Two-thirds of 18 to 24-year-olds experienced discrimination during hiring processes. The report stated: “Reasons for this spike could be increased consciousness of issues related to race, gender, and other potential factors for discrimination in younger applicants.”
But discrimination doesn’t end with recruitment. 55% have gone on to experience discrimination once they had started a new job – and 59% have witnessed it. 56% of male employees said they experience discrimination at work, while 52% of female employees reported the same.
This is a huge concern for employers because D,E&I are crucial to success.
First of all, being inclusive is essential to employers succeeding in attracting and retaining talent and creating a positive working environment where employees are engaged and motivated – this has never been more important in the ‘Great Resignation’ where employees are saying they want to work for employers that share their values.
However, there is also evidence that having a workplace that isn’t diverse, equitable or inclusive is bad for bottom lines as it doesn’t encourage diversity of thought. Diverse, inclusive businesses are more innovative and creative.
It’s time for more inclusive workplaces
Talking about the results, Remote’s vice-president of people Nadia Vatalidis tells UNLEASH: “While it’s distressing to note that more than half of surveyed employees have experienced discrimination at work, stronger diversity and inclusion policies can create better experiences for everyone while allowing companies to retain their team members in a healthier, happier working environment.”
It is also crucial that organizations have “leaders who actively champion and enforce those policies within their organizations”.
The big question is where to start with D,E&I policies?
According to Remote’s research, the top challenge that employers face are managing inequitable inclusion (36%) – “inequitable inclusion refers to the concept that diversity means different things to different people”, states the report.
So Remote suggested that employers focus on creating “one agreed-upon definition for these terms” – this should be done in collaboration with employees. From here, everyone is working towards the same goal.
The next thing is to focus on your benefits – the number one approach cited by respondents to improve D,E&I is workplace flexibility (23%).
This is followed by acknowledging holidays of all cultures (21%), awareness training on D,E&I practices for HR teams and hiring managers (20%), advertising roles in new channels (19%), having diverse interview panels (19%) and promoting pay equity (19%).
Vatalidis concludes: “Truly furthering diversity and inclusion requires continuous effort, commitment, and monitoring.
“HR needs to ensure effective strategies inform every component of people management and hold business leaders accountable when they fail to meet set standards.”
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