D&I dread | 1 in 3 workers fear diversity schemes could cost them their job

1 in 3 workers fear diversity schemes could cost them their job

One in three employees fear that an unintended consequence of increased awareness around D&I would be losing their role, a new study by Dynata claims.

The research, which polled over 1,300 workers from the UK, in addition to nearly 10,000 from countries such as France, Germany and the USA, looked to explore the attitudes and opinions of employees, managers and people leaders surrounding EDI programs in their organisations.

It discovered that, whilst one in three employees rated accountability and progress reporting as the most important element of a successful D&I strategy, the same amount also feared that the consequences of such reporting could well endanger their chances of working for D&I-centric organisations.

A total of 68% of white men who responded to the survey believe that they don’t need any further education about the importance of D&I, yet a massive 46% believe that a greater emphasis of D&I may lead to their losing their own job.

This belief that further training is unnecessary may well be a false perception; saying hurtful things unintentionally, or ‘microaggressions’ as they’re commonly called, and stereotyping are still common in the workplace. Hearing unintentionally hurtful things is more common for ethnic minorities in the UK at 51%, than anywhere else in the 11 countries polled in the research.

However, an overwhelming 66% of respondents also noted that creating a safe environment and paying employees fairly for their work were the most-desired and important outcomes of any D&I initiative.

The benefits of doing so, they stated, include greater feelings of confidence, productivity and belonging among workers.

It appears that there is a ‘significant’ gap between senior leaders and workers in measuring the success of D&I within organisations. 60% of bosses believe that they are creating a ‘culture of belonging’, whilst just 41% of workers perceive their managers as doing so.

“A diverse workforce which brings together different perspectives, ideas and ways of thinking is essential for innovation in business, just as it is in wider society,” noted Samuel Kasumu, former advisor to the Prime Minister and Managing Director at Inclusive Boards.

“Significant progress still needs to be made when it comes to equal opportunities and working conditions for all, but there are examples of good programmes helping firms to address these issues," he added.

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