Almost half (46%) of Britain’s workforce think their employer could do more when it comes to diversity, with 58% of employees from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds agreeing, according to a report.
Despite 79% of employees confirming that working somewhere with a diverse workforce is an important factor for their happiness at work, 40% think diversity seems like less of a priority in the workplace currently, with 50% stating it should be more of a priority. The same report also uncovered that 41% of employees said their employer makes token gestures that feel surface level when it comes to diversity and inclusion, with more than half (52%) of employees from BAME backgrounds agreeing this is the case.
Diversity and inclusion have long been key factors for ensuring a positive and happy work environment, however the events of recent months, such as the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, have resulted in these climbing up the agenda of many employers.
“The insights on diversity and inclusion uncovered in Culture Shift’s report really do resonate with me, as they shine a light on the lack of true representation across the UK’s positions of power. Employees are calling for their employers to focus on recruiting people from more diverse backgrounds, while providing training to the workforce on diversity and inclusion, confirming action really does need to be taken.
“If organisations want to create a happy work environment then they should take heed, as most employees confirmed working somewhere with a diverse workforce was an important factor to their happiness at work,” comments Olive Strachan MBE, founder of Olive Strachan Resources Ltd, global business woman and diversity and inclusion specialist.
The research found that fostering a diverse workforce representative of reality is a key factor for creating a positive culture and a key component for most employees’ happiness at work. With many calling for more to be done when it comes to ensuring that not only do under-represented groups have a presence in businesses, but also a seat at the table and a voice, there are various factors organisations should be keeping front on mind whilst planning for the future.
On fostering a diverse workforce, representative of reality, the research revealed that:
86% of employees said working at a company with a strong ethical background was important to them, with 91% stating that working at a company with a good reputation for treating employees fairly was integral to their happiness at work
Almost half (47%) of employees from BAME backgrounds said diversity seems like less of a priority in the workplace currently, with 59% stating it should be more of a priority
Almost one-quarter (23%) said their employer could improve workplace culture by recruiting more people from BAME backgrounds, as well as by providing training to the workforce on diversity and inclusion
19% said their employer could improve its culture and be more inclusive by recruiting more people from LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) backgrounds
One-in-five (21%) said their employer could improve its culture by recruiting more people of varying abilities, a better gender balance and more people of different religions/faiths
23% of women said their employer should recruit a better gender balance, compared to just 18% of men
“To create an empowering culture for all employees, it’s absolutely essential for organisations to be diverse, inclusive and showcase true representation across all levels of the business. Not only do recruitment processes need to be inclusive, but promotion opportunities too, and employees from marginalised backgrounds need to be supported through their career, as well as other employees.
“We firmly believe this is an incredibly important conversation to have and the insights uncovered in our research solidify that we’re not alone in believing more action needs to be taken by those at the top. It’s a shift that won’t happen overnight, but there needs to be clear intent from employers to keep diversity and inclusion at the top of their agenda,” adds Gemma McCall, CEO, Culture Shift.
Culture Shift exists to lead positive change in organisational culture, through building products that empower them to tackle harassment and bullying.
“We hope the insights uncovered in our report, combined with the fact that diverse workforces are consistently proven to be more successful, result in employers making some tangible changes across the board to ensure their teams are truly representative of reality,” concludes Gemma.
Research from Culture Shift