- As businesses engage in efforts to become more diverse, HR professionals may build overly diverse perceptions of their companies, according to Clutch, a B2B rating and review firm. Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies should continue diversity plans, the firm said in a May 14 report.
- The majority (79%) of 505 HR professionals surveyed — hiring managers, HR generalists, executives and recruiting or staffing specialists across the U.S. — said they believe their company is diverse. However, the respondents may be focusing on "small elements of diversity," instead of areas for improvement such as diversity in sexual orientation, according to the report. Few respondents valued specific diversity initiatives, Clutch said: About 14% said they valued improving LGBTQ awareness and sensitivity at their company. The most popular initiative was diversity training (24%), followed by increasing the representation of women in leadership and increasing recruiting of underrepresented groups.
- More than half of respondents said their company has become more diverse in the past year, which could be attributed to an increasingly diverse U.S. population, and an increase in hiring workers from multiple countries, the report said. Meanwhile, about one-third (36%) said diversity at their company has not changed in the past year, and 7% said diversity has decreased. Flexible work schedules during the COVID-19 pandemic can allow for increased geographic and gender diversity, the firm said.
Research shows diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace is valued by most leaders, but many perceive company culture as inclusive when it's not.
"Getting to Equal 2020: The Hidden Value of Culture Makers," Accenture's global survey of more than 30,000 professionals in 28 countries released March 4, found that D&I is not a top strategic priority for the majority leaders due to a misconception of a favorable company culture. Financial performance and brand recognition (76% and 72%, respectively) were identified as top priorities, while 34% of leaders ranked diversity as a top priority. The proportion of employees who do not feel included in their organizations is 10 times higher than the surveyed leaders believe. Only a small percentage of "culture makers" understand the intricacies of inclusion, and their organizations' profits are nearly three times higher than those of their peers, according to the report. These leaders skew female and younger, and are much more likely to have spoken out on a range of workplace issues, including gender equality.
But a multi-year strategy to create gender equality isn't a priority for the many global organizations, according to Mercer's "When Women Thrive 2020 Global Report" released March 3. The company surveyed senior HR and business leaders from more than 1,150 companies in 54 countries. The report found that although 81% of companies surveyed said D&I is important, fewer than half have a plan for reaching gender equality. About half of the companies surveyed do not have staff exclusively dedicated to D&I, but 64% track gender representation.
"Ensuring a diverse workplace may not seem like a priority for businesses right now — but it should be," Clutch stated. "Diversity is integral to producing a motivated and effective workforce that can contribute to their company's success during the pandemic."