Employers’ attitudes to – and performance on – diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace is fast becoming a make-or-break issue for workers, reveals the ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View

 More than two-thirds of UK workers (68%) say they would consider looking for a new job if they discovered their company had an unfair gender pay gap or no diversity and inclusion policy, the survey found.

Although women are more likely to say so, men are not far behind, and younger workers feel particularly strongly. 

The report explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future

 

Underperformance on DE&I could have an adverse impact on recruitment and retention 

Although most employers recognise the importance of DEI, around a third (34%) of UK workers say their employer either talks about the importance of a gender pay equality policy or diversity and inclusion policy but does not have one, or never mentions it at all. 

 

How far has workplace DE&I progressed?

Less than a third (30%) of UK workers say their employer has got better at gender pay equality and diversity and inclusion compared to three years ago, and 15 percent think they have got worse. 

Management teams, company owners and HR departments are cited as the primary drivers of gender pay equality and diversity and inclusion within companies, but 30 percent of cases workers say it is left up to employees, and almost a quarter (24%) say no one is driving it. 

 

Sirsha Haldar, Managing Director, ADP UK, Ireland & South Africa, comments:

Workers are weighing up ethical or cultural considerations when deciding whether to join or remain with an employer. They are willing to walk away if employers fall short when it comes to creating a diverse workforce and treating them fairly.”  

“The corporate moral compass is under scrutiny, and the onus is on companies to demonstrate they are taking the lead on good practice – or at least not falling behind. Since pay inequity is more of a dealbreaker for younger workers, there is likely to be a permanent expectation among both current and future workers that employers take DEI seriously as part of their corporate culture.” 

“There’s a real risk that failure to be proactive in this area could act as a drain on talent. Employers could put themselves at a competitive disadvantage if they fail to seek out the best candidates from the widest pool. And they may struggle to retain highly-skilled or qualified women or people from a diverse range of ethnicities and backgrounds if they do not tackle pay gaps or deliver equality of opportunity.” 

“The ramifications could go even further, adversely affecting the way the company as a whole and its values and brand are perceived by staff and candidates of any description, as well as other stakeholders such as customers and shareholders.”  

 

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.