Diversity and Inclusion Pulse: 2017 Leader’s Guide

We know that having a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture results in positive outcomes such as increased employee engagement, higher levels of creativity and better retention of talent. However, putting into place an effective diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy is challenging, especially since it needs to resonate with the unique perspectives, backgrounds and experiences of today’s workforce.

To better understand the current state of D&I efforts—successes and struggles—we surveyed 2,167 senior executives around the world and asked them about their personal experiences and perceptions. Their responses are fascinating, but are in some areas also concerning, particularly when you look at women, racial and ethnic minorities, and executives who identify as LGBTQ+ and how their experiences in the workplace differ vastly from those of their colleagues. Here are three examples of those differences and thoughts on how motivated organizations can address these challenges.

Perceptions by Gender

Female executives perceive their organizations’ leadership and workforce to be less diverse than do male executives. Women are also more likely to agree that diverse talent is leaving their organizations due to a lack of inclusion or engagement.

Perceptions by Race/Ethnicity

Executives of underrepresented backgrounds are less likely to feel that they can be their authentic selves in the workplace and are more likely to feel pressure to conform and act like the majority.

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