Workplace diversity and inclusion has been a hot topic the past few years, particularly in 2020, as more companies begin to release their diversity numbers and employees increasingly seek to hold their employers accountable to live up to their pledges to become more inclusive. Many leading companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple have published the demographic data of their workforce.
At Glassdoor, we strongly encourage transparency, and therefore wanted to explore how much diversity and inclusion really matters to job seekers. In Glassdoor's 2020 Diversity Hiring Survey, we turned to our community to find out the importance of diversity when candidates are deciding where to work, and if employers are doing enough to foster a diverse workforce. To unpack what we discovered in our 2020 survey results, read through this article to discover what matters most when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
Job seekers look for an inclusive workplace when looking for their next career move
More than 3 out of 4 job seekers and employees (76%) report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. This means that, whether or not your company is interested in increasing its diversity, most candidates are nevertheless evaluating diversity when they research your company and during the interview process.
Having a diverse workforce is particularly important to underrepresented groups: Nearly a third of employees and job seekers (32%) would not apply to a job at a company where there is a lack of diversity among its workforce. This figure is significantly higher for Black (41%) job seekers and employees when compared to white (30%) job seekers and employees, and is also higher among LGBTQ (41%) job seekers and employees when compared to non-LGBTQ (32%) job seekers and employees. So whether you're hiring for diversity or not, diversity should be something taken into account when evaluating your entire recruiting process.
While there are many reasons to strive for a more inclusive workforce, including the fostering of more diverse ideas and greater innovation, all companies should keep at least one reason in mind: a McKinsey study found that ethnically-diverse and gender-diverse companies were more profitable.
Your employees think you should be doing more
Candidates care, but what about employees? The survey revealed that more than half of people think their company should be doing more to increase diversity among its workforce. Once again, we see this belief is especially true for under-represented groups, with 71% of Black employees and 72% of Hispanic employees saying their employer should be doing more to increase the diversity of its workforce, compared with 58% of white employees.
Remember that your employees are a significant part of your employer brand. Candidates are looking for signs of diversity on your site and in your online profiles, but they will also talk to their friends and read reviews on Glassdoor to find out how diverse a company actually is. If a diverse workforce is important to your company, make sure your employees know about your initiatives, and involve them in as many efforts as you can. It will not only get employees more involved and more invested in your company, but it will help you recruit even more diverse talent.
Your employees are a valuable source of information for prospective candidates
When job-seekers are looking to see if a company has a diverse group of employees, and whether current employees are happy with the company, they tend to put the most trust in employee reviews: 66% of employees and job seekers trust employees the most when it comes to understanding what diversity & inclusion really looks like at a company, significantly higher than the percentage most trusting senior leaders (19%), the company's website (9%), or recruiters (6%). Moreover, nearly 37% of employees would not apply to a job at a company where there are disparities in employee satisfaction ratings among different ethnic/racial groups. These disparities amongst employee satisfaction ratings can be found across the majority of organizations.
These results show that collecting feedback from your workforce is crucial. Collecting feedback should be done anonymously, as 71% of employees say they are more likely to do so if they don't have to share their identity. Collecting this type of feedback can help your company make the necessary adjustment, and ensure employees leave constructive, authentic and valuable reviews and insights regarding company diversity and inclusion policies for job applicants to consider.
Seek out feedback from employees with diverse backgrounds
When asking your workforce about their perception of company performance on diversity and inclusion efforts, it's particularly critical to listen to the voices of your diverse employees. Our study found that white employees, who made up 60% of the U.S. workforce and 56% of Glassdoor D&I ratings, tended to give a significantly higher rating for their company's D&I practices (3.74 stars out of 5) than did African American employees (3.49 stars out of 5).
While some industries are perceived by employees as performing better than others with respect to DEI efforts, even when accounting for occupation, industry, company size, and tenure, Black or African American employees still rate workplace D&I nearly 8 percent lower.
When reviewing your own company's D&I policies, it's critical to focus on and understand the viewpoint of different groups of employees in order to more fully understand how well (or not) the company is actually doing. Our survey results strongly suggest, for example, that Black or African American employees are experiencing a stark diversity and inclusiveness crisis in the workplace. Even worse, there's little evidence in their view that the situation is improving.
Tips for employers on hiring for workplace diversity
So what should employers be doing to both increase diversity and inclusion and better highlight their efforts? Here are some guiding principles for you to consider:
- Demonstrate your commitment to diversity on an internal basis first. Be transparent. Evaluate your workforce and executive team demographics, figure out where the gaps are, and then let your employees know. Successful companies create internal programs, resources, and networking groups to support their employees. Listen and respond to the employees you already have and they can help you retain and recruit new and diverse talent.
- Communicate clearly with your employees and candidates about your initiatives. Your employees can be your best evangelists if they know what steps are being taken to increase diversity. Highlighting initiatives internally can also have the added benefit of creating a more tight-knit community of employees within your workforce.
- Collect data. We have put together concrete steps for this, but some key considerations include identifying exactly what type of data your company needs, making it clear to employees how this data will (and won't) be used, and making participation optional.
- Set goals that make sense for your industry, and consider using an external expert to help set these goals. If your company has the budget, goals could be tracked by enlisting a diversity advocate. This person would hold management accountable for meeting previously announced D&I goals.
- Actively recruit for diversity by targeting your audience and expanding your hiring pool. D&I initiatives should be more than diverse photos on your careers page. Whether it's a Women in Tech group or an LGBT Summit, make sure your recruiting efforts are reaching groups. This also extends online to branding your company as one that genuinely cares about diversity. Glassdoor has worked with a number of companies on diversity campaigns. For more information, see our Glassdoor for Employers page.
Hopefully, your employees will feel strongly and speak positively regarding how well your company supported them, both as individuals and in the context of their background and culture. To get involved in the conversation around diversity & inclusion on Glassdoor and start managing and promoting your employer brand reputation, unlock your Free Employer Profile today.