D&I progress remains slow at U.S. firms, study says
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
U.S.-based companies of all sizes are seeing progress, yet
continue to face challenges, with workplace diversity and inclusion, according
to new research by XperHR.
The three biggest hurdles to moving diversity and inclusion
forward are time and commitment, benchmarking diversity and inclusion efforts,
and resistance to change in the corporate culture, according respondents to
XpertHR's Diversity in the Workplace Survey of more than 600 companies in all 50
Workplace diversity efforts since 2010 have focused on
permitting employees to take unpaid leave to observe religious, cultural and
ethnic holidays and increasing efforts to recruit and hire a diverse workforce,
noted Peggy Carter-Ward, author of "Diversity in the Workplace: A
Survey of the American Business Landscape,” based on the survey.
Among the survey's key findings:
More than half of workplaces report that diversity has
increased over the past five years.
- Ethnic and racial diversity are traits most aggressively
recruited, followed closely by veterans.
- Nearly half of workplaces do not consider religion a
diversity criterion, and more than 4 in 10 do not consider sexual orientation.
- Geography played a role in the diversity of two- thirds of workplaces,
with one-fifth saying geography hurt their efforts and more than 40 percent
saying geography helped.
- Global employers are far more likely to have diversity
initiatives than their U.S.-only counterparts.
- The three diversity initiatives respondents prioritized for
the next five years are formation of affinity groups, instituting mentoring
programs and/or career development programs for diverse employees, and a focus
on supplier diversity.
Unconscious or unintentional biases, such as "like hiring like”
and potentially erroneous assumptions about details of the job requirements or
an applicant's intrinsic capabilities, often hamper diversity efforts,
"The benefits of a well-rounded and diverse workforce are
well documented," she said, adding a workplace isn't optimized for talent
if diversity isn't embraced and institutionalized.