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Employees Seek More Diversity & Equity in the Workplace, According to Survey

GettyImages-862201444After many years of increasing calls for tangible action to create diversity and equity in the United States, American employees are still waiting for those changes to come in the workplace. In a new survey from Yoh, data reveals that less than one-third (28%) of employed Americans say their company has made strides in becoming a more diverse workplace over the past two years.

building an equitable workplace

The survey by The Harris Poll on behalf of Yoh, included 937 Americans ages 18+ who are employed full-time/part-time. Out of these participants, 30% say their company acknowledges holidays related to race/ethnicities or gender (e.g., Black History Month, Women’s History Month and/or Hispanic Heritage Month) but doesn’t take any specific actions to advocate for these groups.

Companies that take a dedicated approach to create inclusive workplaces and celebrate their employees' diversity every day successfully drive a culture of diversity. This is necessary to attract talent to your company and make a concerted effort to build an equitable workplace. Employee resource groups (ERGs). are a great way to create spaces to celebrate your diverse employees, open dialog on more difficult subjects, and network for professional development.

Here are the findings collected from Yoh's Harris Poll survey:



  • Employed men are more likely than employed women say their company has improved diversity initiatives for positions at the lower level but not in the C-suite (27% vs 16% respectively).

  • Employees with a higher household income are more likely to say their company has a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion officer or other individual whose focus is to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In fact, 33% of employed Americans with a household income of $100,000 or more say their company has a DE&I officer or individual whose focus is to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace compared to 20% of those with a household income of under $50,000.

  • Few employed Americans feel their company focuses more on hiring women and people of color, and less on hiring people from the LGBTQ+ community. Less than 2 in 10 employed Americans (16%) say when it comes to diversifying the workforce their company focuses more on hiring women and people of color and less on hiring people from the LGBTQ+ community.

the need for diversity in the workforce

Now more than ever, companies are called on to take genuine action in fostering a diverse and welcoming culture. Emmett McGrath, President of Yoh, adds that “hiring individuals who bring different perspectives in all levels of business is proven to increase engagement, productivity and innovation. As a staffing firm, our goal is to not only embrace diversity within our own walls, but to help our clients create more inclusive workforces across the industries in which we serve.” 

For more expert tips your organization can take to attract diverse talent and build your brand as an employer of choice for diverse communities, listen to our Back to Work podcast episode "The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace".

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