In partnership with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), we bring you the ‘Inclusion at Work 2022’ report.
As well as providing an overview of what UK employers are currently doing to improve inclusion and diversity in their workplaces and the practices they have found to be effective, the survey report highlights where more action is needed. And as part of this, the CIPD proposes seven recommendations for practice to help people professionals improve, or re-energise, their approach to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace with equality of opportunity.
The survey was conducted by YouGov Plc between 13 May and 15 June 2022, and gathered 2,009 responses from senior decision-makers in UK organisations.
When looking at the sector breakdown, this included 1,475 responses from employers in the private sector, 366 responses from employers in the public sector, and 168 responses from employers in the third/voluntary sector. The report examines the approaches taken in each of the sectors, while also looking at what small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are doing compared with large organisations.
“It’s worrying that notably fewer organisations say they plan to focus on each personal characteristic, or area of I&D, over the next five years (compared with the past five years). Furthermore, 36% of employers said they’re not planning to focus on any of these areas over the next five years (compared with just 5% having had a focus in the past five years).
“It’s important that organisations don’t lose focus on I&D and allow operational demands to take over, or assume the job is done. We hope that the findings, and the points for employer practice to support inclusive workplaces, may help to inspire change and maintain momentum for I&D in your organisation” - Jill Miller, Senior Policy Advisor, CIPD.
“In what is currently a very competitive labour market showcasing your organisation’s inclusive and diverse culture, and dedication and commitment to the cause, is vital.
“Companies are crying out for talented people to fill their open vacancies and having a culture that is diverse and inclusive will set you in good stead to attract the best professionals above your competitors” - Ian Nicholas, Chartered MCIPD, Global Managing Director, Reed.
Key stat highlights from the ‘Inclusion at Work 2022’ report:
Strategy and approach to inclusion and diversity
Inclusion, respect, diversity, equality and fairness are the top five terms respondents’ organisations use to refer to this topic.
Under half (48%) of employers surveyed have either a stand-alone I&D strategy or action plan in support of their wider organisation’s strategy, or have I&D integrated into their wider people strategy.
Current areas of focus
The most common areas of I&D that employers focus on are mental health (29%), race/ethnicity (23%) and gender (21%).
Just five percent said their organisation has not focused on any I&D areas in the past five years.
Future areas of focus
Just over a third (36%) of employers said their organisation is not planning to focus on any I&D areas in the next five years.
Inclusion and diversity practices
The top three most common practices used to make their recruitment approach more inclusive and diverse are: reviewing job descriptions to accurately reflect the requirements of the job; making reasonable adjustments where possible throughout the recruitment process; and using structured interviews (for example, standardised questions).
Giving underrepresented groups guidance on the recruitment process was the least used recruitment-related practice (used by just six percent of employers), but it was rated highly in terms of effectiveness.
Inclusion and diversity budget
Just seven percent of organisations have a specific I&D budget.
Just over three-quarters (78%) of leaders understand how an inclusive workplace and diverse workforce can benefit the organisation.
Just over two in ten employers (21%) said leaders are not very committed, or not at all committed, to having a diverse workforce, and 17% are not committed to having an inclusive workplace.
In just under half (46%) of organisations, I&D considerations take a back seat to operational imperatives (for example, when managers are urgently hiring).
I&D objectives are part of a manager’s performance objectives in just 30% of organisations.
Inclusion and diversity data
Just 38% of employers say they collect some kind of equal opportunities monitoring data.
The most common personal characteristics they collect data about are sex, age, race/ethnicity, and disability.
Dealing with conflict
72% of employers agree or strongly agree that managers deal with any discrimination, bullying, or harassment issues promptly, seriously and discreetly.
We asked those employers who said reports of discrimination had been raised by employees in their organisation in the past three years (since 2019) which protected characteristics they related to. Around a third (31%) said race/ethnicity, 28% said sex and 20% said disability.
How representative and inclusive are UK workplaces?
31% said they thought their organisation was above, or well above, average, in terms of how inclusive it is in comparison with competitors and industry peers, and just 14% said below average. A third (33%) said average.
Organisations believe they are most representative of the UK working population in terms of age and gender, and least representative in terms of disability and also transgender and non-binary people.
Download the FREE survey report and executive summary now, by clicking on the download button at the top of the page, for more insight, analysis and direction.