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More Than Half of Workers Say Their Company Has Failed at Creating a Diverse Workplace, But New Data Shows How Diversity Affects People of Color’s Ability to Succeed at Work

A majority of employees think their company did not successfully foster diversity in 2020, but a similar percentage acknowledge their company is committed to establishing a diverse workforce in the next year. People of color are twice as likely to say their workplace’s diversity affects their ability to succeed. Companies are addressing worker concerns by acknowledging the importance of diversity to employees and committing to specific diversity initiatives.

More than half (54%) of American employees do not believe that their company has successfully created diversity in 2020, according to new data from Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews firm.

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Changes in public opinion regarding workplace diversity are causing businesses to respond to employees’ expectations and take action to improve diversity.

Currently, fifty-three percent of employees (53%) believe their company is committed to establishing a more diverse workplace next year. Roughly one-third of employees (36%) aren’t sure if their company is committed, while only 11% of workers believe their company is uncommitted.

Employees Want Diversity Initiatives

Businesses are giving employees ownership in their diversity efforts, with experts noting that companies can use tangible initiatives to show their employees that diversity is a company value.

“In order to truly embed diversity and inclusion in a company culture, you have to create opportunities for engagement at all levels of the organization,” said Karina DeLaCruz, vice president of CSAA Insurance Group, a home ownership insurer.

DeLaCruz said her company uses employee resource groups and diversity councils to involve employees in decision making about diversity-related initiatives. “Diversity and inclusion have to be ingrained as part of everyone’s work,” she said.

Clutch polled employees on diversity initiatives they wanted to see their workplace adopt, with more racial and ethnic minorities in leadership (25%) leading the pack.

Employee diversity training (24%), more women in leadership (21%), and recruiting underrepresented groups (20%) are also important to American workers.

People of Color Say Diversity Is Essential to Their Success at Work

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of people of color say the level of diversity at their company affects their ability to succeed. Roughly half that number of white people (32%) agreed.

Successful companies need successful employees, and experts believe people of color recognize that authentic mentorship, more likely to be found at a diverse company, improves the odds of professional success.

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Dr. Luz Claudio, a professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, has been a successful Afro-Latina woman scientist for 29 years.

Claudio said that as she advances in her career, young people of color frequently seek out her advice.

“The experiences we share as people of color are very different,” Claudio said. “As you continue to climb the corporate or academic ladder, the need for mentoring in that regard does not go away.”

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