Business Benefit of Workplace Diversity Still Not Embraced

 -  9/27/12

Less than half of workers in a recent survey said diversity amongst an organization's employees or staff makes the employer, its product, or its service any better.

Raleigh, N.C. — Sept.26

Since the Civil Rights Era, diversity in the workforce has been a hot-button issue for American business. There is little debate that private and government-sponsored initiatives aimed at integrating the workforce have succeeded over the past several generations, but does the average employee believe that diversity makes business better?

Workplace Options, a work-life services provider, and Public Policy Polling, recently conducted a survey of American workers to answer that question.

The poll results show:

• 80 percent of respondents consider their place of employment either very or somewhat diverse.
• 63 percent believe diversity is a value embraced by their employer.
• 46 percent would be more attracted to a future job if an employer promoted a diverse work environment.
• But less than half of respondents — 46 percent — believe diversity amongst an organization's employees or staff makes the employer, its product, or its service any better.

Employers began using diversity to attract the best and brightest talent decades ago. Diverse workplaces are often synonymous with progressive, cutting edge work environments — the kind of places where young individuals want to be employed.

Results of this poll show a similar trend:

• 91 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 are employed at workplaces they consider to be diverse.
• 72 percent of those 30 to 45 years old and 73 percent of those 46 to 65 years old reported the same.

Also according to the poll, 67 percent of respondents reported that training programs to educate employees about cultural, ethnic and personal privacy issues were either mandatory for their job or available voluntarily through their employer.

The national survey was conducted by the North Carolina firm of Public Policy Polling, July 12-16. The survey polled 427 working Americans and has a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percent.

Source: Workplace Options

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