Join top executives in San Francisco on July 11-12, to hear how leaders are integrating and optimizing AI investments for success. Learn More

While the pandemic has been a major focus for the past year and a half, 2020 was a major turning point for racial injustice both from a societal standpoint and within the workplace. And while many organizations and leaders have made commitments to implement better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices, 40% of employees of color stated that their company has not made noticeable progress around DEI in the last year. This research comes from human workplace pioneer Workhuman’s Human Workplace Index, which for the past three months has examined employee sentiment in the workplace.

Graph. Title: "The Effects of DE&I in the Workplace." 66% stated company's DE&I strategy impacts their feelings about how long they plan to stay in their position. 34% do not feel impacted by DE&I in the workplace.

Findings show that in addition to companies not making noticeable progress toward DEI in the workplace, there is also a discrepancy over how people are treated. The results showed that while almost half (44.9%) of employees of color don’t feel they’re treated differently in the workplace, the majority of all respondents (47.2%) stated that employees of color are treated differently. As companies begin to plan for an eventual return to office, or even as they hire more employees, inclusion has to be a priority, and employers must ensure that everyone feels accepted at work.

Whether or not employees return to work at the end of this year or even early next year, it’s never been more important for employers to ensure psychological safety in the workplace. The research showed that while 73% of respondents reported feeling psychologically safe at work, only 30% of those were employees of color. Further, employees of color represented 50% of the respondents who answered “no” to whether they feel psychologically safe.

DEI is an ever-evolving opportunity for companies, and there is no one solution. Having constant communication and resources for employees is one step in continuing to drive change in the workplace, and further an opportunity to impact societal change. But, if workplaces don’t actively work to improve DEI in the workplace, they could be at risk of losing great talent. Sixty-six percent of overall respondents stated their company’s DEI strategy impacts their feelings about how long they plan to stay in their position. So, as companies continue to think about the future of work, DEI has to be top of mind.

For the latest survey, Workhuman focused on DEI, surveying 1,000 full-time U.S. employees.

See the full report by Workhuman.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.