- Most Americans say it is at least somewhat important for companies to promote diversity in their workplaces, but are against taking race and ethnicity into account during hiring and promotion decisions, a Pew Research Center survey revealed.
- The survey of 6,637 U.S. adults found that black individuals (81%) were more likely to say that promoting diversity in the workplace is somewhat or very important compared to 75% of Hispanic respondents and 73% of white respondents. But more than 3 out of 4 white individuals and close to that many Hispanic individuals think that employers should consider only a job applicant's qualifications in hiring and promotions, compared to a little more than half of black respondents.
- Attitudes toward diversity in the workplace also differed along political party lines; Democrats (86%) were more likely than Republicans (61%) to say it's very important for employers to promote racial and ethnic diversity in their workplace, according to Pew data. Republicans also were more likely than Democrats to say race and ethnicity shouldn't be considered in hiring or promotion decisions, but majorities of both groups held this view.
The findings may paint a picture of how diversity programs may have failed in the past. Initially, diversity efforts aimed to increase the number of underrepresented groups in the workplace — groups who were often denied employment because of their race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion or disability rather than because of a lack of ability or potential. Now, employers have realized that they must also have cultures of inclusion to align all workers with this effort; in other words, diversity programs can't stop at getting people in the door.
But what does that look like? People of all backgrounds need to feel like they actually belong at the company so that they stick around and move up, Jim Barnett, CEO of Glint, previously told HR Dive. Some of this can be done through an onboarding program — embedding people right away within their teams and work networks and connecting them to their managers, Scott Conklin, vice president of human resources for Paycor, previously told HR Dive. But grassroots efforts, like employee resource groups, panels and brown bag lunches can go a long way, too, and can create a broader culture that embraces diversity and inclusion and understands its value.
"We're all in this together," Dionysia Johnson-Massie, an employment lawyer at Littler Mendelson in Georgia, previously told HR Dive. "If there are things we can do as leaders, as colleagues or as others within the working environment to enhance the experience of each other, that should be our goal."