NEWS10 May 2022

Little improvement in diversity despite increased focus

Inclusion News Trends UK

UK – More than £6bn is spent on diversity and inclusion initiatives every year, yet there is very little evidence that this leads to increased diversity, according to newly published research from Dynata.

DEI abstract image

The study  shows that, despite the huge focus on this area that followed the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests, the workplace is still full of inequality, unfairness, prejudice and discrimination.

Almost one in three people in the UK have felt excluded or marginalised at work because of their beliefs, personal circumstances or identity, according to Dynata. This rises to 54% of 18–24-year-olds, 46% of women returning from maternity leave, over a third of Bame (black, Asian and minority ethnic) employees, 52% of people who are registered disabled and 50% who are neurodivergent. One in three women expecting their first child say they have felt excluded.

The research further reveals that only half the UK workforce thinks the leader of their company takes personal responsibility for diversity. A third of people in the workplace find office banter uncomfortable; this rises to half of 18-24-year-olds; 37% of LGBTQ+ individuals and 38% for the Bame community.

One in four people have experienced bias, harassment or inappropriate behaviour at work. This rises to 39% of 18-24-year-olds, 37% Bame, 49% disabled, 62% neurodiverse, 43% of people diagnosed with mental illness and 59% of women expecting their first child. 

The lack of progress is revealed in Belonging: The key to transforming and maintaining diversity, inclusion and equality at work, which will be published by Bloomsbury on 12 May. Co-author Sue Unerman said: “One in three employees in the UK still don’t feel as though they belong at their workplace – and that accounts for 11 million people.  

“This book is about addressing those issues head-on in a new way, not just by throwing money at the problem – which we can see doesn’t work – but by creating change collectively throughout the organisation that you work for.”