More than half of people think that diversity and inclusion is nothing but “political correctness”, according to a new poll by training provider RightTrack, where “only 49% believe the term holds positive associations and feel it represents an opportunity for change.”
The research reveals a lack of belief in the aims of diversity and inclusion, where “in context of the workplace, this data shows that in every team of ten, as many as half have not yet bought into the diversity and inclusion conversation.” This shows that to get people genuine about D&I, action needs to be taken.
Aside from employee apathy, the poll also found that “55% of people are too scared to talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace for fear of saying the wrong thing.”
RightTrack has used these results to reframe D&I initiatives to make people react more positively to these topics, and now uses different language “such as ‘Conscious Inclusion Training’, which sounds fresh and engaging.”
Claudia Cooney, Lead Director at RightTrack, said: “When people do or say the right thing to be ‘politically correct, the outward behaviour may look good, but the motivation behind the words and actions can be less than desirable. The results imply that more than half of people display inclusive behaviour in the interests of toeing the line, rather than a true desire to contribute to an inclusive society.
“To change stereotypes and broaden perspectives, open conversations are imperative. Fear of saying the wrong thing is a barrier we must dissolve. It’s no good staying in our own bubbles and being too afraid to delve into uncomfortable topics; we must instead nurture a culture of curiosity.
“There are so many ways we can change the conversation and encourage more people to be at ease with diversity and inclusion – from taking advantage of national awareness days to facilitating informal activities in team meetings or investing in experiential training solutions that encourage open dialogue between peers.
“The key to changing the narrative is consistency – in our messages, in role modelling behaviours, and in keeping the conversation going.”