While diverse and inclusive workplaces lead to greater productivity, innovation and well-being, ILOX Transforming businesses through diversity and inclusionbelieves that too little is being done to make them a reality, especially the involvement of minority groups, with the result that businesses, workers and society miss out on significant benefits.
“An equal, diverse and inclusive workplace is key to sustainability and recovery,” said Manuela Tomei, Director, Working Conditions and Equality Department, ILO.
Inclusion: “Tested Privilege”
While previous research on diversity and inclusion has tended to focus on large multinational companies in high-income Western countries, Enterprise transformation took a different approach.
It gathers information from employees, managers and senior executives of all ages, genders, nationalities, races and religions in companies of all sizes, in lower and upper middle income countries.
The report found that feelings of engagement in the workplace were more often associated with work experience than with personal experience or characteristics.
92% of senior employees felt included, respected, and valued at work, compared to 76% of lower-level respondents.
Employees of medium-sized multinational companies were also more likely to feel positive than employees of small national enterprises.
The report states that diversity and inclusiveness play a “critical role … in high productivity in work, business, economy and society around the world.” “If inclusiveness remains a privilege reserved only for senior executives, businesses risk missing out on…significant benefits.”
Minorities are missing at the top
Only a quarter of respondents reported that women make up a critical mass of 40 to 60 percent of senior management, and a third indicated that there are no people with disabilities in leadership positions.
Some minority groups, which tend to cluster at lower levels, also consistently report less positive inclusion experiences.
” COVID-19 the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing inequalities in our economies and societies,” said Ms Tomei.
“An equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace is key to sustainability and recovery.”
Between July and September 2021, two-thirds of more than 12,000 employees in 75 countries surveyed across five regions acknowledged that the level of focus and action on workplace diversity and inclusion has increased since the start of the pandemic.
A similar proportion said the pandemic had raised their expectations that employers should do more to encourage diversity and inclusion.