NEW WORKPLACE STUDY FINDS OVER HALF OF MILLENNIALS BELIEVE THEIR COMPANY WOULD BENEFIT FROM GREATER DIVERSITY; 25 PERCENT OF WOMEN HAVE FELT UNSAFE AT WORK
A new survey from Fierce, Inc. addresses issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace
SEATTLE (March 22, 2017) – A new study released today by leadership development and training experts Fierce, Inc. provides an inside look at how over a thousand employees feel about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
MILLENNIALS EMBRACE DIVERSITY AS BENEFICIAL TO AN ORGANIZATION
Research confirms that millennials are more inclusive than previous generations as a whole, in both their personal and professional lives. This generation embraces the fact that diverse perspectives lead to greater innovation and enjoy working with colleagues that have different backgrounds and think differently, who challenge them to look at obstacles in a different light.
“Company leaders must encourage employees to embrace the insights of individuals of all backgrounds and encourage all generations to revisit their own perceptions of reality,” said Susan Scott, founder and CEO of Fierce. “In every conversation we enter, we bring along our own opinions, beliefs and attitudes. Instead of getting curious and learning, people often use conversations as a forum to validate, confirm and reinforce their own previously-held beliefs. Millennials are starting to shift this norm, which in general is a good thing, however, company leaders need to ensure employees across the board can do the same.”
DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE
When asked about being personally discriminated against or judged at work based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs, gender and political beliefs top the list at 17 percent. Between men and women, nearly twice as many women than men noted they felt they have been discriminated against based on their gender (21% vs. 12% respectively).
These numbers increase when asked about experiencing others being discriminated against:
- 18% say they have seen others discriminated against based on race
- 20% say they have seen others discriminated against based on political beliefs
- 21% say they have seen others discriminated against based on gender
“We’ve come a long way in terms of inclusion in the workplace, however, it is clear there are still plenty of issues that need to be addressed head on. Implementing diversity programs are critical to every organization, as every employee should have the training on how to have these conversations. For organizations that feel confident this isn’t an issue in their company, chances are it is, and not addressing it and giving individuals the tools to handle these situations will erode relationships and lead to conflict for everyone involved,” said Scott.
SAFETY AT WORK
“This is an alarming finding that every employer should take to heart,” Scott continued. “Everyone deserves to feel safe at work, at all times, with no exceptions. It is imperative that companies encourage conversations around diversity and inclusion early and often, and that there is opportunity for open and honest discussions, be it with coworkers or company leadership, on these topics. Company leaders should take measures to ensure that their employees feel confident that anyone feeling even remotely unsafe has the skills and confidence to have these tough conversations should the situation arise.”
CAN WE DO MORE?
“Expanding or developing diversity efforts that make inclusion a cultural imperative benefits everyone–from small businesses to Fortune 500 organizations. Ensuring your people understand the importance of inclusion, how to embrace it and how to learn from it will make your place of work more attractive for both new and existing employees, and chances are, it will also increase your bottom line,” Scott said.