NEWS19 December 2022

Support for diversity and inclusion rises in research sector

Inclusion News People Trends UK

UK – Seven in 10 people in the research sector believe their organisation actively supports women and employees from minority groups, according to research by the Market Research Society (MRS), Kantar, Zappi and Judith Staig.

Multiple people from different backgrounds

The findings, from the Equality, diversity and inclusion in the market research sector 2022 report, said that there had been a large increase in employees feeling their organisation was more supportive of women and minority groups, up from 57% in 2020 to 70% in 2022.

The report also said that 92% of those surveyed had opportunities and resources to work flexibly, a six percentage point rise form 2020.

However, 52% of people in protected groups – those with specific legal protection from employer discrimination due to protected characteristics such as race, gender, sexuality and disability – felt that not everyone in the research sector had the same opportunities to progress.

Age discrimination was also highlighted as an issue in market research, with 9% of people aged over 55 reportedly having experienced stereotyping or demeaning language, which was more than twice the proportion of those aged between 16 and 34.

Younger people were marginally more likely to have heard of MRS equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) activities ( 62% versus 55% of over 55s) and significantly more likely to act as an ally to protected groups ( 72% compared with 47% of over 55s).

A majority of respondents ( 61%) had heard of at least one MRS EDI activity, including the MRS Inclusion Pledge, MRSPride, support for the Colour of Research (CORe) network, the Market Research Apprenticeships Trailblazer programme or the MRBA Bursaries for professional training.

That proportion has more than doubled since 2020, when 30% of participants had heard of the MRS EDI programme.

Jane Frost, chief executive at MRS, said: “This important research shows that our sector is making real progress and that’s something everyone should be pleased about.

“However, Rome wasn’t built in a day and more still needs to be done for greater inclusivity and better representation in our industry.”

To read the full report, please click here.