Women and members of visible ethnic minorities report experiencing or witnessing more judgement, misconduct and inequality in the workplace
TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2020 /CNW/ - A new survey from ADP Canada and Maru/Blue demonstrates that Canadians believe their workplaces have room to improve when it comes to issues of diversity and inclusion. Specifically, working Canadians who belong to a visible ethnic minority1 reported that, at their current place of work, they have experienced or witnessed more judgement or misconduct based on ethnicity or skin colour, more negative impacts on their career and greater feelings of discomfort in the workplace. However, there are some positives, as the survey also noted greater awareness of these issues among younger workers, with nearly half (47%) of employed Canadians aged 18 to 34 saying they would be more loyal to their organization if they took a stand, publicly, on diversity and inclusion.
Members of Visible Ethnic Minorities More Likely to State they Witnessed Problematic Behaviours at Work
Of those surveyed, thirteen per cent of all working Canadians agreed that they have witnessed or experienced judgement or misconduct at their current workplace based on ethnicity or skin colour. However, 31 per cent of working Canadians belonging to a visible ethnic minority reported such behaviours - twice the number of all working Canadians.
Moreover, respondents identifying as members of visible ethnic minorities also reported negative effects on their career advancement, with 32 per cent of respondents in this category believing their ethnicity has negatively impacted their career growth, and 19 per cent saying prejudice or lack of diversity and inclusion based on their ethnicity has influenced their decision to leave an employer.
Looking at gender, 19 per cent of working women reported witnessing or experiencing judgement or misconduct based on gender and 22 per cent believe their gender has negatively impacted their career advancement.
1 Visible ethnic minorities as reported in the poll include Aboriginal or Indigenous, Black, Afro American or Black Canadian, Asian or Asian Canadian, Arab (North Africa, Middle East, West Asia), Caribbean, Latin, Central and South American and others
Diverse Voices Not Being Heard
A quarter (25%) of working Canadians don't feel comfortable expressing their opinions at work, those belonging to a visible ethnic or religious minority feel even less comfortable (31% and 39%, respectively). The same was true for women in the workplace, with twenty-seven per cent of working women saying they don't feel comfortable expressing their opinions at work.
Additionally, half of employed Canadians who belong to a visible ethnic minority (50%) believe their background is not represented within the make-up of their management team.
"With visible ethnic and religious minorities reporting more discomfort about sharing their ideas at work, employed Canadians within these communities may not have a strong sense of belonging at work and may not feel their input is heard when trying to participate in discussions," said Reetu Bajaj, HR Advisor at ADP Canada. "These same individuals may also perceive that they are not represented within their management team."
Diversity and Inclusion Becoming a Priority for Workplaces Around the Country
As best practices, some employers are prioritizing policies and programs on diversity and inclusion. According to the survey, one-in-three working Canadians (32%) believe that diversity and inclusion are priorities for their organization.
When asked how diversity and inclusion were integrated into the corporate culture of their organization, Canadian workers identified composition of the workforce, onboarding and training, and surveys and employee feedback as the primary vehicles.
However, 36 per cent of survey respondents felt that while their organization is taking steps in the right direction, diversity and inclusion is still not considered a priority.
"The fact that respondents who identify as being part of the Canadian cultural majority report being less likely to experience or identify problematic behaviours in the workplace, indicates that these issues may be more widespread in the workplace than many Canadians think," said Reetu Bajaj, HR Advisor at ADP Canada. "While our survey also shows that conversations have started in half of Canadian workplaces, employers must be proactive in implementing a diverse and inclusive culture within their organizations to be respectful of human rights."
Younger Workers More Loyal to Organizations Who Publicly Support Diversity and Inclusion
Workers aged 18 to 34 and visible ethnic minorities were the most vocal when it came to issues of diversity and inclusion. Top asks from these groups include a more diverse leadership team at their organization (30% and 32% respectively), and more events or initiatives that encourage cultural learning and inclusivity (29% and 27% respectively).
Nearly half of these younger workers (47%) also said they would feel more loyal to their organization if it publicly took a stand on diversity and inclusion, twice the response rate than that of the general working population (25%).
"There is undeniable evidence that diverse workforces support more productive and creative organizations," added Bajaj. "With the survey indicating that the younger generation of workers is more committed to social justice in the workplace, expectations around diversity and inclusion may be heavily-weighted attributes of ideal employers as the future of work emerges."
Judgement and misconduct in the workplace
- Younger working Canadians are more likely to have noticed or experienced these issues (31% of respondents aged 18-34, compared to only 19% of respondents aged 55+).
Putting employee loyalty to the test
- While 87 per cent of working Canadians said prejudice or lack of diversity and inclusion has never influenced their decision to leave an employer, 19 per cent of those belonging to a visible ethnic minority said prejudice or lack of ethnic diversity has already influenced their decision to leave an employer.
- 47 per cent of working women indicated they would leave their employer if they found an employee of the same level, but different gender, received higher compensation.
On conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion
- In addition to questions on diversity and inclusion within the workplace, participants were asked about recent events, and what they felt generated the most dialogue within their organization. Many Canadians felt public gatherings within their city generated the most dialogue (24%), followed by action from the Canadian government (19%) and sports teams taking a stand (18%).
- Over a third (36%) of Ontario employees feel it is their company's top priority to take steps to improve diversity and inclusion at their workplace.
- More than half (53%) of Ontario employees are aware of policies that support diversity and inclusion at their workplace.
- A majority (81%) of Québec respondents say they have never experienced or seen judgement or misconduct in their current place of work - the highest in the country.
- Less than half (42%) of Québec employees were aware of diversity and inclusion policies in their organization, the lowest in the country.
- 30% of Quebecers say their workplace includes diversity and inclusion through composition of the workforce (i.e. diverse groups are represented at all levels).
- British Columbia
- 41% of participants from British Columbia think their organization is taking steps towards improving diversity and inclusion.
- 40% of B.C respondents say their workplace includes diversity and inclusion through composition of the workforce.
- 29% of Alberta employees don't feel comfortable expressing their opinions at work.
- 34% of Albertans say their workplace includes diversity and inclusion in onboarding and training.
- Prairies (Manitoba and Saskatchewan)
- Employed Canadians in the Prairies are most likely to have experienced or seen judgement or misconduct at their current place of work (29% vs 25% overall)
- Compared to all working Canadians, workers in the Prairies are the least likely to feel they can voice a contrary without fear of negative consequences (65%).
- Atlantic Canada
- 28% of Atlantic Canadians said public gatherings in their city and reports by the media generated the most dialogue within their organization relating to the Black Lives Matter movement.
An online survey of 1,546 working Canadians (including those working full and part time) was completed between October 23 and 29, 2020, using Maru/Blue's online panel. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.4%, 19 times out of 20.
About ADP Canada
Designing better ways to work through cutting-edge products, premium services and exceptional experiences that enable people to reach their full potential. HR, Talent, Time Management, Benefits and Payroll. Informed by data and designed for people. For more information about ADP Canada visit www.adp.ca or follow us on Twitter @ADP_CDA.
SOURCE ADP Canada Co.
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