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Employees say DEI efforts from leaders are critical

Feb 16, 2024 | Public | 0 comments

Employees who took part in a new global survey say that having a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) workplace is important to them. They also want their leaders to be vocal about how organizations are actively engaged in such efforts.

Catalyst, a global nonprofit promoting gender equity and workplace inclusion, analyzed 6,800 employees in 11 countries and found 93 per cent want their organizations to detail to their teams how they are creating more equitable workplaces. Although, 24 per cent report that senior leaders never or rarely engage in discussions about the matter.

The survey also shows that the way leaders talk about diversity efforts has a direct impact on employees.

For instance, the fairness case justifies diversity initiatives by highlighting how it’s the socially good and morally right thing to do, is consistent with the organization’s values and contributes to creating a fairer workplace.

In this case, employees are more likely to view their employers as fair, experience inclusion and remain at the organization. On the other hand, research shows that using a business case for diversity has been linked to lower feelings of belonging in women and LGBTQ+ employees. Framing diversity according to its benefits to an organization can have negative consequences for hiring underrepresented job candidates.

A key finding was when using both cases, organizations should emphasize the fairness case to increase the likelihood of positive employee results.

“In this polarizing moment when efforts to build equitable workplaces are under attack, it’s significant that employees want to see proactive steps from leadership, along with clear communication regarding the actions being taken to create a diverse workplace where all employees can belong, contribute, and succeed,” said Emily Shaffer, PhD, a senior director of research at Catalyst and lead author of the report. “Workplace inclusion is not a game with winners and losers; it’s a universal win, fueling creativity, elevating performance, and creating workplaces where all talent can thrive.”

The report also provides practical suggestions for clearly discussing DEI practices with employees.

“Organizations should start by making sure their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices align with their culture and core values; by examining if their messaging to employees clearly reflects why they’re engaging in DEI practices; and by understanding their audiences,” stated Shaffer. “Going back to the basics allows companies to demonstrate their commitment in a way that resonates with employees, leaders, and stakeholders.”

The post Employees say DEI efforts from leaders are critical appeared first on REMINET.


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