Diversity & Inclusion

Companies lauded for diversity still have far to go

“Diversity Practices that Work: The American Worker Speaks,” a two-year national study of 5,500 workers, was conducted by Global Lead Management Consulting on behalf of the National Urban League to answer four questions:

  • What do American workers think about diversity?
  • How do the perceptions of employees in “effective diversity practices companies” compare with American workers overall?
  • What diversity practices drive favorable employee perceptions?
  • How can other companies put these effective diversity practices to work?

Employees don’t think diversity initiatives work

Perhaps the most striking finding is that while workers consistently feel confident in their ability to work in diverse teams, their perceptions of the effects of employer-led diversity initiatives are far less favorable — even those at companies consistently praised for diversity efforts.

“This reflects the American workers’ lack of confidence in the effectiveness and potential benefit of any diversity initiatives within their organizations today,” wrote study leaders. “This suggests that despite a great deal of effort by corporations in America, a significant gap exists in making diversity a core part of the overall culture of corporations.”

Indeed. According to the study, only 32 percent of employees believe that their company has an effective diversity initiative. That, say the researchers, “should serve as a wake-up call to every board-level director, corporate executive, and human resources or diversity practitioner.”

A starting place for HR pros

These are the top 10 areas employees say are most important to improving their perceptions:

  1. marketing to diverse customers and consumers (63 percent);
  2. retaining diverse talent (59 percent);
  3. recruiting diverse talent (57 percent);
  4. leadership commitment and involvement (57 percent);
  5. inclusive culture and values (57 percent);
  6. diversity education and training (56 percent);
  7. community involvement (55 percent);
  8. advancing diverse talent (55 percent);
  9. career development for diverse talent (54 percent); and
  10. diversity employee communications (52 percent).

Get the full study at www.nul.org.

1 thought on “Companies lauded for diversity still have far to go”

  1. Employee buy-in to diversity initiatives would be significantly higher if U.S. industry would stop using diversity as a euphemism for affirmative action. If by definition diversity is a multi-dimensional thing that goes beyond race and sex, it includes us all. Take it one step farther, what is a “diverse candidate?” Conceptual clarity should be the first order of business for U.S. business, particularly if they are serious.

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