Over half of employees believe their bosses have a bias toward those who look, think and act like them
This is quite an interesting statistic.
According to a recent survey published in Hays Ireland’s Diversity and Inclusion Report 2018, 55% of Irish workers think that they are at an advantage if they look, act or think like their boss.
The same survey reported that only 44% of people believe that their leaders fully understand the relationship between diversity and inclusion and profitability.
Just 43% say their organisation is pro-active in its efforts to improve this situation, and 42% say they ensure interview panels are diverse.
Perhaps the most worrying statistic that came from the report was that 33% of Irish employees believe that challenging cultural norms will negatively impact on their careers.
Director at Hays Ireland, Maureen Lynch had this to say following the results from the survey: "Every employee, regardless of background, deserves to work in a safe, supportive and respectful environment, making a clear human case for building fairer and more inclusive workplaces.
"Furthermore, both Irish and international research has consistently shown there is a strong business case for diversity, particularly because it helps to unlock the full potential of an organisation’s talent.
"Therefore, when company policies and behaviours at all levels of the business are geared towards diversity and inclusion, everyone stands to benefit.
"Secondly, inclusive leaders are better able to leverage the talent of diverse teams.
"Workplaces which encourage debate and diversity of thought are likely to experience better staff morale and higher retention rates. At a time when so many sectors are experiencing acute skills shortages, this is a consideration that cannot be ignored."
She did suggest that improvements were on the horizon, and offered a few tips that may go a long way, saying: "Thankfully, our research suggests many employers are slowly getting better. However, we also know that working toward a more diverse workforce and inclusive workplace is an ongoing journey.
"With this in mind, we have offered some practical recommendations designed to bring organisations closer to diversity and inclusion best practice and improve the overall success of the business.
"Inclusive leaders should aim to ‘lead from the front’ as conscious and self-aware champions of change. Undergoing ‘unconscious bias’ training can help leaders in this endeavour.
"Host regular ‘town hall’ meetings or anonymous ‘pulse surveys’ to gauge attitudes to diversity.
"Regularly communicate to employees that diversity and inclusivity is on the agenda and be able to point to proof points re-enforcing this message".