Despite an increase in workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives in the past year, a recent study has found that one in four Black employees do not feel they can be themselves at work.

The data, from Inpulse, suggests that whilst diversity and inclusion efforts expanded, the ability to enact real change has suffered as a result of remote and hybrid working.

In light of this, employees are less engaged and have much less faith in the initiatives designed by employers.

Almost a third of respondents felt that their organisation does not do enough to encourage diversity and inclusion.

In fact, those who feel they cannot be themselves at work are almost half as engaged (43 per cent) as other employees.

Alongside this, over two thirds of these employees (64 per cent) do not feel that their organisation has an inclusive culture, regardless of personal difference.

These figures come as the CIPD has called for mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting to apply to large employers from 2023, with the body arguing it will help to bolster workplace equality and create consistency of disclosures among organisations.

The survey highlights how individuals may not be the root cause for widespread diversity issues, as although 25 per cent of Black employees feel they cannot be themselves at work, almost nine in ten (89 per cent) agree that they are treated with respect by their managers.

Founder and CEO of Inpulse, Matt Stephens, commented:

There are currently two main issues holding back the D&I agenda. Firstly, the return to work has taken over as the big problem for HR and is ultimately sucking the oxygen out of D&I initiatives – so much so that there’s little room to focus on this incredibly pressing matter.

Speaking on ways in which employers can respond, he said:

These are not structures that can change overnight, however, and require a constant, multifaceted approach to improve. Key is to first understand underlying issues to be able to create the best strategy of support.





Megan McElroy is a second year English Literature student at the University of Warwick. As Editorial Intern for HRreview, her interests include employment law and public policy. In relation to her degree, her favourite areas of study include Small Press Publishing and political poetry.