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Employees Want More Diverse and Equitable Workplaces

Employees around the world say having a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace is important to them and they want their leaders to be vocal about the steps they’re taking to get there.  

A new survey of 6,800 employees in 11 countries reveals that 93% are calling for organizations to candidly detail to their teams how they are creating more equitable workplaces and how leaders and organizations talk about their DEI efforts has a direct impact on employees.  

Conducted by Catalyst, a global nonprofit promoting gender equity and workplace inclusion, the survey also finds that three-quarters (76%) of employees agree that organizations should be actively engaged in efforts to create a diverse and equitable workplace. 

“In this polarizing moment when efforts to build equitable workplaces are under attack, it’s significant that employees want to see proactive steps from leadership, along with clear communication regarding the actions being taken to create a diverse workplace where all employees can belong, contribute, and succeed,” says Emily Shaffer, a senior direct of research at Catalyst and lead author on the report. “Workplace inclusion is not a game with winners and losers; it’s a universal win, fueling creativity, elevating performance, and creating workplaces where all talent can thrive.” 

The survey also looks at how organizations can make the case for an equitable workplace. It finds most (76%) discuss both the business case and the fairness case. Importantly, the survey shows that when the right thing to do is emphasized over the business’s bottom line, employees are more likely to see their organizations as meritocratic and fair, to experience inclusion, and to intend to stay at their organizations.  

The report also provides practical suggestions on how organizations can clearly discuss their DEI practices with their employees.  

“These first steps are simple but significant,” says Shaffer. “Organizations should start by making sure their DEI practices align with their culture and core values; by examining if their messaging to employees clearly reflects why they’re engaging in DEI practices; and by understanding their audiences. Going back to the basics allows companies to demonstrate their commitment in a way that resonates with employees, leaders, and stakeholders.”  

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