New data from Dynata, a data and insights platform, revealed that microaggressions continue to be a problem in UK workplaces with ethnic minorities impacted most, while men are more fearful of losing their jobs in diverse, equitable, and inclusive organisations.
The new report entitled “Global Consumer Trends: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace” involved 12,000 respondents in 11 countries, with data collected in two periods in July and August 2021.
A major finding was that 41% of UK employees involved in the study said that “colleagues often say hurtful things to them based on their differences without realising they are hurtful,” also known as microaggressions.
In terms of country, the report found that microaggressions are more common for ethnic minorities in the UK (51%) than those in the USA (46%), Canada (42%), and Australia (35%). Ethnic minority workers in the UK and USA are also more likely to feel stereotyped at 43% and 46%, respectively.
Another interesting finding was that “almost one in three UK workers fear that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programmes will cost them their job.” This worry is higher among men generally (35% vs 26% of women) and is more prevalent among millennial males (45%) and senior leadership (52%).
The report also found that 39% of workers whose companies have a DEI programme feel this way, as do 41% of those who participate in those programmes and 43% of those who say they benefit from those programmes.
This finding goes hand-in-hand with levels of D&I understanding by cohort, where younger workers were found to be “more familiar than older ones with initiatives aimed at promoting DEI.” The level of familiarity stood at 72% for Gen Zs, 67% for millennials, and lowered considerably to 52% for Gen X and 33% for Baby Boomers.
This shows that some workers, particularly older ones, male workers, and those in leadership positions, may fear ‘saying the wrong thing’ on diversity and inclusion or may still be failing to understand the subject matter fully.
However, the report also uncovered some positive findings related to diversity and inclusion where 70% of UK employees whose company has a DEI programme said it was “very or extremely beneficial to the organisation.”
Furthermore, 57% of UK workers said they have a “high level of familiarity with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programmes,” above the global average of 46%.
Ultimately the report shows that firms must increase their D&I teachings to target older cohorts in their business and male employees and senior leadership to build confidence around the subject matter.
This approach could prevent the chances of microaggressions occurring if non-diverse groups, such as white senior male leadership, understand diversity and inclusion policies, practices, and relative behaviours better.
To read the report in full, click here.