Workplace Diversity is Still a Major Problem Although Nearly 80% of HR Professionals Believe Their Company Is Diverse

Workplace Diversity is Still a Major Problem Although Nearly 80% of HR Professionals Believe Their Company Is Diverse

Just 17% of workers at companies across America support increased recruiting of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, a new survey by Clutch shows.
Simultaneously, merely 20% of employees value hiring women in leadership positions and just 14% find value in boosting LGBTQ awareness and sensitivity at their companies.
The findings are thought-provoking as Clutch’s new data about diversity in the workplace overall revealed that 79% of people believe their company is diverse. However, observers contend employees perhaps are misjudging the strength of their company’s diversity status greater than what it actually may be.
While a diverse workplace may not seem like a top concern for companies in today’s business climate, Clutch maintains it should be. Clutch content writer and marketer Seamus Roddy also reported that “as businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic, they are more likely to use remote technology and training to diversify their workforce.”
The survey showed 74% of employees believe their workplace is committed to improving diversity. Yet, if only 17% of that sample believe that recruiting underrepresented groups is valuable, it shows that there’s a massive disconnect in people’s minds about diversity, a Clutch spokesperson says.
Clutch surveyed 505 human resource professionals in January to learn if they consider their workplace diverse and which business diversity initiatives are important to them. Notwithstanding COVID-19, 57% of people report their company has become more diverse in the past year. Experts contend this may stem from  U.S. businesses employing workers from different countries as well as a larger, diverse American workforce altogether. 
With some 79% of people believing their workplace is already diverse, a Clutch spokesperson noted, that may suggest in employees’ minds they’ve already “finished” with diversity. That could mean that they don’t see any value in heightening racial/ethnic diversity, women in leadership, or LGBT sensitivity. 
People overestimate the diversity of their workplace for a couple of reasons, Faizan Fahim, content marketing lead for IT firm ServerGuy, told Clutch. Here’s why:

1. The company is diverse in some ways but not others

A company may have a balance of male and female employees and people from a range of races and religions. But, if the business doesn’t employ workers of varying ages and sexual orientations, it may not be as diverse as employees believe.

2. Employees think one employee represents the entire company

Workers who are familiar with even a single colleague who is LGBTQ, from a different country, or from an underrepresented group may consider their business diverse because of that employee. In reality, a strong level of diversity goes beyond one employee’s experience.

Other intriguing statistics showed some 19% of those surveyed are unsure if their company is devoted to diversity in 2020. Plus, only 8% believe their company isn’t bound to creating a more diverse workplace this year.

And training is the top initiative HR professionals want at their companies. Roughly a quarter of people (24%) say their preferred diversity initiative is employee diversity training and discussions where they work. Businesses may do well to find guidance from companies taking such actions. Take major consulting firm Accenture for instance.

Clutch reported Accenture approaches diversity training via these distinct categories:
  • Diversity Awareness: Helping people understand the benefits of working with a diverse team.
  • Diversity management: Working to help leaders manage diverse teams
  • Targeted professional development: Enabling women, LGBTQ people, and racial minorities to build the skills needed to do their jobs well.
Accenture uses that strategy to educates employees about the benefits of diversity, assists management with hiring remote teams, and bolsters the skills of traditionally underrepresented groups, Clutch reported. Accenture has been consistently cited on the Black Enterprise’s 50 Best Companies for Diversity list.