Latest 24 Seven Survey Takes the Pulse of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace
24 Seven surveyed hundreds of professionals working in the Marketing, Tech, Beauty, Fashion & Retail sectors to learn how companies have responded to the recent heightened social awareness of systematic racism. National polls suggest that the Black Lives Matter movement has become one of the largest in U.S. history, with over a half a million people participating in protests in more than 550 cities across the nation. Many organizations and companies have recognized this as an important societal moment and have vowed to be part of a long-overdue change. Here is what is happening in the area Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) in workplaces:
Majority Say DEI is a Company Priority, But Minority Employees More Likely to Question Sincerity
Six in ten employees say that DEI is a priority at their company, as evidenced by well-documented & reinforced policies, procedures, and track record. Over half of those participating in the study said that their company has reinvigorated their DEI commitment in response to the recent social climate. When looking at the respondents in aggregate, 8 out of ten believe in the sincerity of recommitment. However, non-White identifying survey takers are more dubious of their employer’s renewed enthusiasm for the DEI cause. However, across all racial groups, just about 70% believe that employers are committed to DEI for the long term.
Some Feel More Secure Than Others to Be Their Whole Selves at Work
Our survey finds there is progress yet to be made in the area of inclusion. Just over half of employees surveyed feel confident about being their most authentic self at work in every dimension: gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, physical and mental ability, etc. White-identifying employees feel the most secure while Black-identifying colleagues are more likely to feel less so. Black-identifying employees are half as likely to say they feel respected as a whole person at work. And they are five times more likely than their White-identifying peers to say they are underrepresented in the workplace.
DEI and the Employer Brand
An abundantly clear insight from the study is that DEI is an essential element of the employer brand. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed said it is important to work for a company with a proven DEI priority track record. A company’s DEI track record has impact on talent retention, with over half of employees saying that they’d leave their current employer to work for another with a better DEI reputation. This is especially true for Non-White-identifying talent, with nearly seven out of ten saying they would switch companies.
Improving DEI Through Action
Just one third of survey respondents describe their current company’s culture as inclusive, and a similar percentage said that their company has a clear plan of action to combat racial injustice & inequality in the workplace. Another third simply do not know what the plan is, indicating that companies have work to do in clarifying and communicating DEI policies. Only a third of employees say they feel comfortable speaking up when a DEI issue or microagression occurs, while another third are afraid because they fear retribution, derision, or another negative personal or professional impact.
Less than half of companies have a point person in place to go to with concerns, questions, or comments about occurrences of racial inequality/injustice in the workplace. Even fewer companies (22%) have someone in an executive leadership position specifically focused on DEI.
Companies also need to step up their efforts when it comes to training around diversity, anti-bias and racism. Nearly 40% offer no training at all, with just over one quarter training all employees. Thirty-seven percent of companies are taking action to ensure less biased hiring practices in response to recent incidents of racial injustice in society.
While our study reveals there is work to do, there is cause for optimism, as companies do seem to be stepping up to meet the moment by joining the movement. Click here to access the survey results.