NEWS10 February 2022

Research industry making progress on diversity, says GRBN

Inclusion News People Trends UK

UK – More than twice as many market researchers believe their organisation is making concerted efforts on diversity and inclusion than those who don’t, according to research from the Global Research Business Network (GRBN).

Different coloured paper faces

The research, from GRBN’s diversity, inclusivity and equality survey, which was launched last autumn, examines workplace culture and people’s personal experience with, and witnessing of, discrimination.

The aim of the research is to provide leaders the global research and insight sector with benchmarking data on diversity, equality and inclusivity.

The research found that while 40% of employees generally have considered leaving their current organisation due to concerns over diversity and inclusion, that figure fell to 20% for market research professionals.

But researchers are 30% more likely than the general public to believe that everyone does not have equal opportunities within their sector, according to the research.

More than four in ten participants said their leadership team is not diverse enough, almost double the proportion of the general population.

Half of those surveyed reported personal experience with direct discrimination in the workplace.

Andrew Cannon, executive director at the GRBN, said: “That one in five researchers have stress or anxiety, in particular stood out to me, and it’s clear that more is needed from associations and businesses around the world to support staff with their mental health and wellness.”

Jane Frost, chief executive at the Market Research Society, said: “While the sector’s increasing awareness of the need for greater inclusion is heartening, the numbers around the diversity of leadership show how far we have to go.

“If leaders aren’t role models and don’t demonstrate the behaviours needed, progress will undoubtedly be slow.”

Debrah Harding, founding association partner and chair at the GRBN, said: “The importance of having a diverse employee-base, particularly for a sector like ours which relies on public participation, simply cannot be overstated.

“Diversity in market research is essential in ensuring a representative range of responses to our work and ultimately, therefore, more effective insights. While many of the findings from this research were positive, I hope to see the sector push on from it.”