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Diversity and inclusion are growing concerns in business

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Internet stats show increasing awareness and demand for change

Recent research about internet search habits has revealed that there has been a consistent increase in diversity and inclusion issues over the last three years. For example, the search for ‘gender pronouns in the workplace’ has risen by 500% between April 2020 and April 2022.

Whether these searches are being conducted by employers trying to be aware of issues or whether it is employees who are trying to find out their rights is unclear.

The data also showed an increase of 58% in searches for ‘unconscious bias at work’ during the same three-year period. There was also a spike in March 2022, which coincided with International Women’s Day. The 2022 theme was based on ‘breaking the bias.’ March was also a big month for diversity and inclusion related with organisations completing their mandatory Gender Pay Gap reports before the Government reporting deadlines.

The data also showed that search results had increased for certain types of discrimination:

  • ‘bullying, harassment, and discrimination at work’ searches grew by 62.5%
  • ‘disability discrimination at work’ searches grew by 51.25%
  • ‘racial discrimination at work’ searches rose by 40.3%
  • ‘age discrimination at work’ searches grew by 30.6%

The same pattern has also been seen in Employee Tribunal Data. According to data from employment law and HR advisory firm, WorkNest, nearly half of the Employment Tribunal Claims received between January 2019 and December 2021 included some form of discrimination, with disability being the protected characteristic most relied upon by Claimants. 

 During the same period, they also saw increases in the following types of claims:

  • Disability-related discrimination claims (17.9%)
  • Sex-related discrimination claims (52%)
  • Race-related discrimination claims (27.3%)

There was also a large spike of racial discrimination claims during 2020, a 42.9% increase, compared to 2019.

Darren Hockley, Managing Director at DeltaNet International, commented: “The data reveals that discriminatory issues continue to rise in the workplace; business leaders and HR teams are responsible for tackling these issues to provide a safe and welcoming working environment for all employees to thrive in,”

“We believe that diversity and inclusion must be at the core of an organisation; we want to help employees and employers evolve from a compliance-based model to embracing true cultural change.”

Evidently, issues of diversity and inclusion are not a “passing storm to be weathered.”

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