A Hays survey found just 14 per cent of both employers and employees say the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) has increased in their workplace because of the Black Lives Matter movement.
However, 54 per cent of employees said that when they next look for a new job, an organisation’s ED&I policies will be either vital or important considerations when deciding who to work for.
The survey found over half (58 per cent) of employers recognised that their organisation’s ED&I policies are vital or important in attracting new talent.
In addition, 30 per cent said ED&I will become more of a priority for them in the next three to six months.
“Despite COVID-19 headwinds, the Black Lives Matter movement and resulting demonstrations around the world brought the issue of equality, diversity and inclusion firmly to the fore,” said managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand Nick Deligiannis.
“Failing to commit to real and lasting ED&I action can weaken an organisation’s employment brand and damage their ability to attract new staff.”
One obstacle in moving from conversation to action is the failure to embed ED&I in the culture of an organisation.
The survey found that 38 per cent of employers said ED&I is not embedded in their culture, either because it is not a priority, or it is viewed as a “nice to have” only when time and budgets allow.
“This holds an organisation back because ED&I becomes more of a regulatory exercise,” Mr Deligiannis said.
“Rather than shifting mindsets around ED&I and embracing and celebrating underrepresented demographic groups and diversity of thought, the best that can be hoped for is a level of tolerance towards difference.”
The survey was conducted in August 2020 and was completed by 4,105 people. Of these, 966 responded as employers and 3,139 were working professionals.