Diversity, inclusion at work a priority for younger employees: survey

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are more of a priority for younger employees, according to a new study commissioned by ADP Canada Co.

The survey found respondents aged 18 to 34, as well as those from a visible ethnic community, were the most vocal when it came to issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Indeed, 30 per cent of respondents in this age group considered a more diverse leadership team a top ask for employers, along with more events or initiatives encouraging cultural learning and inclusivity (29 per cent).

Read: Employers embracing diversity, but more work to be done

These workers may consider diversity and inclusion as heavily weighted attributes for ideal employers, noted Reetu Bajaj, a human resources advisor at ADP Canada, in a press release.

Additionally, almost half (47 per cent) of these respondents said they’d feel more loyal to their organization if it publicly took a stand on these issues — twice the response rate (25 per cent) of the general working population. In fact, younger employees were also more likely to have noticed or experienced these issues (31 per cent) compared to respondents aged 55 and older (19 per cent).

The survey also found 25 per cent of total respondents said they aren’t comfortable expressing their opinions at work, including 31 per cent belonging to a visible ethnic minority, 39 per cent of those from a religious minority and 27 per cent female.

Read: Scotiabank focusing on further strengthening workforce diversity, inclusion

In addition, 50 per cent of respondents who belong to a visible ethnic minority said their background isn’t represented within the makeup of their organization’s management team.

Canadian workers from within these communities may not have a strong sense of belonging at work and may not feel their input’s heard when trying to participate in discussions, said Bajaj.

While a third (32 per cent) of respondents said they believe diversity and inclusion are priorities for their organizations, 36 per cent felt these issues are still not considered a priority.

Read: Women in Canada’s benefits, pension industries talk gender diversity