- Midsized employers made progress in 2019 recognizing diversity as it pertains to gender identity, but most still struggle with aspects of pay and gender inequality, according to a report by HR platform Namely.
- Namely found 10% of the 1,300 companies in its database recognized gender identities beyond "male" and "female" within the past year. This group of companies recognized a total of 25 gender identities, five more than Namely counted in its version of the report from last year, the company said. Namely added that the early evidence suggested a "smaller than expected" opportunity gap for non-binary people in midsized companies, and it noted that the report's sample size was relatively small.
- White men held 63% of all managerial positions in midsized companies surveyed, Namely found, and fewer women and minority employees held positions of authority. Gender pay equity was greatest among nonprofit organizations in the report, while employers in the technology and healthcare sectors had the largest gender pay gaps. Namely noted that progress on workplace diversity occurred in organizations that had C-suite level HR or diversity officer roles, but this group accounted for less than 5% of the most diverse workplaces in the report.
Namely's report indicates midsized employers still have work to do when it comes to diversity and inclusion (D&I) goals, especially for key fronts like gender pay equity.
"On the ground, people leaders are making progress on closing the pay gap and moving in the right direction for both women and minorities. Everyone from C-level executives to entry-level employees realize we need to diversify our companies," Lorna Hagen, Namely's chief people officer, said in a statement. "HR teams now have more data than ever before to help make that a priority and a reality, but we still have a lot of work to do."
A lack of diversity is especially prominent in certain industries more than others, but organizations across the board have struggled to tackle D&I issues correctly. A 2018 Atlassian study found that "fatigue" had set in among organizations in the tech industry due to failed or stalled efforts to hire and retain members of underrepresented groups, including women, people of color and people with disabilities.
Education and transparency can go a long way toward making such programs successful, according to the Diversity Best Practices organization, as do processes that keep company leaders and management accountable. But the process of making an organization diverse and inclusive isn't an easy one, experts at the WorkHuman 2019 conference told attendees in March. HR can, however, work to make D&I initiatives actionable, drawing from the company's entire workforce in order to create change.