Gen Z’s representation in the global workforce is set to pass one billion by 2030 and organisations today need to understand the demographic’s motivations on critical issues such as diversity and inclusion.
This was the findings of new research by Intel looking into Gen Z’s expectations around diversity, their experiences of bias and how this will contribute to shaping their future career paths.
For Gen Z – those aged 18 to 24, diversity and inclusion matters. From social equality to climate change, this is a generation that takes decisive action. When it comes to work, Intel’s research found that a majority (56%) of Gen Z in the UK would be hesitant to take a job from a company that does not have diverse representation in senior leadership roles. In choosing between competing job offers, a company’s stance on diversity and inclusivity are almost as important as the pay offered.
However, their focus isn’t just on representation at a senior level. Among all respondents, the most important examples of diversity and inclusion at work were having colleagues of all ages, of all levels of experience and backgrounds, and equal opportunities for those with disabilities.
Despite being more likely to put importance on diversity and inclusion, young people are more likely to have experienced bias as work. Among Gen Z, 39% have experienced bias as a result of gender, 31% personal appearance, 26% ethnic background and 21% sexual orientation.
In all cases, these are higher figures than the average across all age groups. Almost half (42%) of respondents said diversity is important because it allows for a greater wealth of experience and insights, while 40% said it means people are placed first and no one is left behind.
Diversity and inclusion have become essential workplace priorities: diverse teams with diverse perspectives are more creative and innovative. It’s critical, now more than ever, to actively create and foster an environment that empowers employees to have confidence and bring their full experiences to work each day.
Megan Stowe, director, EMEA Strategic Sourcing and International Supplier, Diversity & Inclusion at Intel commented: “As Gen Z employees enter the workforce, they are going to make their voice heard on the importance of diversity and inclusion. Many have personally experienced discrimination as a result of gender, ethnic background, disability or sexual orientation, and are seeking career opportunities that align with their ethics and social values. Companies must accelerate their efforts to create diverse, inclusive workplaces to meet the expectations of a generation who will be making career choices as much on values and sense of purpose as pay and progression.”