Gap between companies DEI efforts and employee experiences?

Do employees experience their employer’s efforts on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) differently than the company?

A recent United Minds’ report on DEI in the workplace shows a divide between corporate efforts to advance DEI and the lived experiences of many employees. The report finds that many employees are either doubtful or uncertain about the effectiveness of their employer’s DEI efforts, and that even amid heightened attention on the importance of advancing DEI, bad behavior, and lack of commitment persists within organizations. 

Key findings of the data include: 

  • 47 % of the employee’s report, that they have personally experienced and/or witnessed discrimination, harassment and/or microaggressions in their current organizations. 
  • 24 % of employees who have experienced discrimination, harassment and/or microaggressions are considering leaving their organization in the next year – three times as many as all employees in the benchmark. 
  • 57 % of all employees are very satisfied with their organizations’ approach to DEI. 31 % have doubts whether their employer is investing sufficiently to advance DEI.
  • Understanding – and addressing – the factors driving these perspectives is key to making progress, as the research shows that leadership tone and behavior is the strongest predictor of whether or not employees are satisfied with their organization’s approach to DEI. 
  • 29 % have doubts whether their organization was working hard to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture prior to the racial unrest in 2020. 

“The old DEI playbook no longer works, and the journey forward requires a deeper, data-backed understanding of the state of your organization from the inside out,” said Tai Wingfield, EVP and DEI Lead, United Minds. “Benchmarking and measuring how organizations perform against key drivers of DEI are essential tools for informing the right strategy and operational model and guiding communications. This data demonstrates that businesses broadly play a critical role and have a long road ahead in creating more equitable and inclusive cultures.” 

20 % of employees doubt whether people treat each other respectfully in the workplace, and more than 30 % doubt whether inappropriate behavior is not tolerated. Additionally, employees report inconsistencies and roadblocks in the experience and opportunities for women and ethnically/culturally diverse professionals, including: 

  • 58 % strongly believe that men and women are treated equitably. 
  • 56 % strongly believe that racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory or offensive language is not tolerated. 
  • 53 % strongly believe that people from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds have an equal chance to be successful. 

Follow this link to access the report in full length.  

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