The majority (71 per cent) of employees said it’s important to them to work for an organization that values diversity and is equitable and inclusive, according to a new survey for Weber Shandwick Inc. consultancy firm, United Minds, by KRC Research.

And the survey, which polled more than 1,500 employees across Canada, the U.K. and U.S, found that 79 per cent said a DEI organization attracts high quality talent. Employers should recognize the competitive advantage of having a diverse workforce, says Greg Power, Weber Shandwick Canada’s chief executive officer. “People who always think within a bubble with the same concepts coming from the same shared experiences . . . don’t see the things that groups with diverse points of view bring.”

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Power says with a diverse workforce, employers will reap better ideas, a better work environment and better employee retention. This shows the importance people place on being with an employer that’s progressive and inclusive, he points out. Increasingly, when organizations look at data broken down by age, he says, millennials are choosing to align themselves with companies with values they understand and respect. “I think the biggest risk and pressure is on your employee workforce because if people aren’t engaged, or they’re confused about what a company stands for, or they don’t agree with it, they won’t want to work there.”

Indeed, the survey also found that only half (50 per cent) of employees said they were very satisfied with their current job and just a little more than half (55 per cent) said their organization has the capacity to attract, grow and retain diverse talent, which impacts an organization’s ability to deliver on its mission.

Additionally, close to half (44 per cent) of the employees surveyed said they strongly believe their employers were investing sufficient time, human capital or money to DEI initiatives. And just slightly more than half (57 per cent) of employees said they were very satisfied with their organization’s approach to DEI, but there were significant differences among employee populations with 86 per cent of those surveyed with military/veteran status being satisfied with their organization’s DEI efforts, compared to only 66 per cent of immigrants, 47 per cent of Asian employees and 46 per cent of Hispanic respondents.

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