While the majority of respondents to a WebMD Health Services survey said they work for a company with a DEIB program, nearly half said that those programs “have failed them personally.”
Additionally, 62% of respondents said the programs are not doing what they were designed to do and nearly two-thirds said they think their companies aren’t doing enough to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Belonging was especially lacking, according to those surveyed. More than half said that “belonging” at their organizations needed improvement. One in three said they felt their opinions weren’t valued; one in five said they felt like an outsider and “unfairly excluded from roles and tasks that would lead to advancement;” and one in five said they were treated differently due to their appearance.
And while the majority of employees surveyed said they believed their CEO would publicly endorse a DEI program, 46% said their companies lacked accountability regarding DEIB goals.
“This survey tells us that programs and policies aren’t enough on their own,” Christine Muldoon, SVP of strategy at WebMD Health Services, said in a statement. “What is needed now are strategies that can leverage those programs so they change workplace culture at all levels. This commitment, combined with effective accountability, can empower employees to bring their best contributions and authentic selves to the workplace.”
Notably, only 16% of those surveyed said DEI should be left solely to HR departments. Most said it should rest with managers or supervisors — reflecting ongoing discussion around the importance of well-trained managers to employee engagement and belonging.