Most employees want their organizations to address racism, according to a new study.
Edelman’s new survey of 3,500 U.S. adults found that 62 percent “won’t work for organizations that fail to speak out against racial injustice,” according to a summary by Axios. The same percentage said their companies were doing “mediocre or worse” to deal with racism both within the workplace and the community at large.
Internally, companies are also struggling to confront issues around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). For example, 61 percent of executives surveyed for the report said they were uncomfortable “discussing race and racial issues with people of other races,” along with 46 percent of mid-level employees and 43 percent of associates.
Meanwhile, 42 percent of employees said their companies’ DEIB efforts weren’t adequately resourced, while 30 percent said any return of investment from those efforts hasn’t been effectively communicated to the larger business. Almost as many (29 percent) said dealing with racism wasn’t a company priority, and 22 percent offered that executives and their companies’ boards don’t want to be seen as racist or political if they participate in the broader discussion.
That data runs contrary to the findings in CompTIA’s new Workforce and Learning Trends 2023 report, in which some 52 percent of HR professionals reported “their organization’s status with DEIB efforts was regaining or generating momentum” while 32 percent said their DEIB efforts were “moving to the next level.”
According to Dice’s new Discrimination in Tech fact sheet, some 24 percent of tech professionals said they experienced racial discrimination in 2022, compared to 18 percent the previous year; meanwhile, some 26 percent reported gender discrimination, a notable increase from 21 percent. That’s indicative of a substantial problem, and it’s not something that can be solved with a few DEIB seminars or company-mandated discussions; there’s a need for big cultural change—and if employees don’t get that, more than a few will walk out the door.