Today, actions to create areas of diversity and inclusion in workspace are not always undertaken in response to management or employers’ interest in improving the work environment. Sometimes these initiatives are the result of employees’ own demands to work in an environment that welcomes everyone and to feel comfortable in the workplace.
According to CNBC’s latest survey of the workforce, workers want business leaders to talk about social and political issues, and believe companies can do more about equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This survey was conducted last April among 8,233 employed adults in the United States, using the SurveyMonkey platform. The results show that, for the respondents, top management of companies or organizations should prioritize diversity and inclusion because it is important for them to work in an environment with these requirements.
It is not too difficult to understand the reason for these demands when we take into account recent social developments that have taken place. For example, debates over voting rights in Georgia or other states, violence against Asians, or the trial and conviction for the death of George Floyd, are some of the motivations that have led business leaders to address these issues.
Businesses attentive to the trend
The survey showed that 60% of workers approve of this effort to speak out publicly on social and political issues; however, 36% said they would support their companies’ leaders speaking out regardless of what they stand for. Another finding is that those in high-level organizational positions (such as CEOs, business owners, etc.) are less likely to speak out on these issues. In this group, just over half agree to speak out on these issues.
What the CNBC survey also manages to rescue is that nearly 80% of respondents said they want to work for a company that cares about issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in workspaces. Nearly one-third of respondents said their companies are already working on these issues. A research science manager at SurveyMonkey, Laura Wronski, highlighted employee satisfaction with these actions. “They are more likely than others to say they have good opportunities to advance their careers, and they are more likely to feel they are well paid for the work they do.”
The pandemic and the new reality are also a reason to value diversity and inclusion in workspaces. In this context, companies must also embrace qualities such as innovation and resilience. Hilton’s chief human resources officer, and also a member of the Workforce Executive Council (WEC), Laura Fuentes, told CNBC that companies were crippled by the health emergency, which brought more challenges. “It would have been very easy for us to say ‘let’s have some downtime and focus on financials.’ Instead, we leaned into conversations about privilege, racism and how men should show up and become allies.”
Also commenting on the actions at his firm was Greg Cunningham, chief diversity officer at US Bank and a CME member, who says equity is a tool for business growth. “It’s not just the black community or the Asian community or women. This time it looks like we’re all in solidarity.” The events of the past year have been a cause for concern about diversity and inclusion in business, according to nearly 40% of respondents.
Another issue that companies must also now address is the search for suitable talent. According to respondents, it has become more difficult to find qualified candidates. Therefore, companies are now making it a priority to keep their employees happy and engaged, and prioritizing diversity and inclusion is critical to the work environment. The survey also notes that workers who say their companies are not doing enough in this regard score low on the Workforce Happiness Index.
Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Those most likely to choose a workplace where inclusion and diversity initiatives are in place are millennials, Generation X and Generation Z. “They are choosing to work for companies with clear value systems and corresponding behaviors around inclusion, transparency, fairness and sustainable business practices,” explained DJ Casto, chief human resources officer at Synchrony and also a member of the CME.
At eSmart Recycling, we understand that as a community we cannot be successful if we do not implement initiatives that include everyone without distinction of any kind. That is why we recycle computers from organizations and companies to use part of the proceeds and return them in the form of computers for children and families with few resources. With this work, we contribute to making possible a future with more opportunities for them.