UK employers are leading Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) transformation in comparison to most European companies.
That’s according to research conducted by GoodHabitz that considered answers from over 13,600 employees across 13 European countries. It shows employees’ desire to work for diverse and inclusive businesses, as well as employers striving to create equal and inclusive opportunities in workplaces.
Tim Segers, UK Director of GoodHabitz explained: “We were very interested to see that across many of the DE&I challenges that companies experience, the UK’s efforts in addressing them were more visible compared to most other European countries.
“For example, almost 3 in 4 UK employees say it’s important to work in an organisation that values diversity and inclusion, which is 7% higher than other European employees. It’s great to see that UK employers are trying to match the demand by striving to improve diversity and inclusion. Indeed, 68% of UK employees have noticed their companies’ efforts, which is 7% higher than our European counterparts”.
The findings also indicate that in the UK, 71% of employees feel that people in their organisation are treated equally, which is also reflected in the gender pay gap, with 69% of respondents feeling that gender has no bearing on the salary of an employee. These statistics are lower in most European countries – 64% of employees feel they are treated equally, however, countries such as Poland (53%), France (55%) and Austria (57%) are lagging behind.
Segers continued: “Creating an environment where employees can openly talk about their cultural differences should be one of the top priorities when setting a DE&I strategy, and UK employers are leading the way (70% vs Europe’s 63%).
“It is important to note, however, that almost 1 in 10 people don’t feel safe discussing these kinds of differences amongst their co-workers which shows that companies in all European regions have some ground to cover”.
In addition, the research shows that managers are instrumental in supporting and advocating DE&I strategies. Here, again, UK managers (77%) showed they are accepting of a mixture of cultural and ethnic backgrounds compared to 66% of European ones.
“When focusing on DE&I, it’s important to create a bias-free working environment. This can be achieved through a variety of channels. For instance, helping employees develop and learn the right soft skills to support a DE&I strategy and approach is essential.
“In fact, in the UK over 66% of employees agree that online courses help them develop soft skills. Only when employees become aware of the various layers of cultures, mental programming and cultural characteristics can they build a diversity mindset,” concluded Segers.
The GoodHabitz Diversity & Inclusion Research Report will be available to download in September on www.goodhabitz.com.