Despite efforts to make workplace culture more inclusive, many companies still seem to struggle with diversity and inclusion, according to a new report by culture training platform Emtrain. The report, which analyses data from over 83,000 current employees between September 2019 and April 2021, found that only half of employees believed that their workplace culture is healthy in terms of D&I, or that their organisation has a genuine commitment to inclusion. Furthermore, only 33 percent feel that their leaders are doing enough to create a sense of belonging in the workplace.
One reason may simply be that employers have not figured out their D&I strategy yet: only 42 percent of employees said that their companies have clearly defined D&I goals. Another issue may be the operationalisation of D&I in specific interactions such as meetings. For example, only 40 percent of employees feel that their team always uses an agenda and ground rules to ensure that everyone is heard, and only 30 percent would actually feel comfortable disagreeing in meetings.
The report also found that even though more than half of employees work on diverse teams, companies have difficulty implementing D&I principles in processes such as hiring and performance management. For example, only 45 percent of employees say that their employers consistently use a structured process for conducting job interviews, and only 31 percent say there is a structured process for evaluating performance. Furthermore, only 18 percent feel that their managers have been sufficiently trained to carry out fair performance evaluations.
While the report does not analyse links between having clear D&I goals and being able to operationalise D&I, the numbers indicate that even companies with a D&I strategy may not be implementing it successfully. On the other hand, some of the indicators used, such as ground rules for meetings and a structured proces for fair performance evaluations, are very fundamental things that measure not just the quality of an organisation's D&I processes, but the health of its overall operations. Furthermore, there may be some self-selection bias, as the data used in the report came from companies that have used Emtrain's platform, which may be doing so because they recognise that they have issues with D&I.