DEI Efforts Are Key Factor In Workers’ Job Decisions

New Eagle Hill research finds a company's DEI efforts are a key factor in over half of workers' job decisions, but only 29 percent of organizations are upping those actions.

For 53 percent of U.S. workers, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts are a key factor when they consider a company for employment, according to new Eagle Hill Consulting research. Notably, a company’s DEI efforts are substantially more important for younger workers, with Gen Z at 77 percent and Millennials at 63 percent. However, only 29 percent of employees say their company has taken more action in the past six months to demonstrate its commitment to DEI.

Some segments of the workforce report that their employers have taken more steps on DEI, including workers who identify as having a physical impairment (46 percent), LGBTQ (40 percent), military veterans (40 percent), and neurodiverse (39 percent). Also, more nonwhite employees report their employers have taken DEI actions in recent months, with Asian/Pacific Islander employees at 39 percent, Hispanic/Latino employees at 35 percent, and African American/Black employees at 33 percent. Melissa Jezior, president and CEO, Eagle Hill Consulting

This research makes it clear that all workers place a high value on bringing their authentic self to the job.”

— Melissa Jezior, President & CEO, Eagle Hill Consulting

These findings come as many companies continue to strengthen their DEI efforts while others are cutting back on diversity staff and initiatives. In recent months, a multitude of high-profile companies reported their diversity executives are departing and others are laying off DEI employees at higher rates than other positions. And some organizations are scaling back their diversity and inclusion budgets and programs.

“What’s clear from Eagle Hill’s new research is that DEI is a priority issue for a large share of the workforce and can drive employee decisions on where to work,” said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. “While some companies are reducing their DEI staff and programs, it’s encouraging to see that employees from diverse communities are seeing increased DEI efforts from their employers.

“This research also makes it clear that all workers place a high value on bringing their authentic self to the job, feeling a sense of belonging and connection at work, and identifying with their colleagues and leaders,” Jezior continued. “That’s just human nature. Smart employers are tapping into this employee sentiment and ensuring their culture creates a welcoming and supportive environment for all segments of their workforce. A culture where employees feel valued and connected is a competitive factor when it comes to attracting and keeping top workers.”

DEI Efforts and Hiring Workers
A culture where employees feel valued and connected can be a competitive factor when it comes to attracting and keeping top workers. (Photo: Adobe Stock / BreizhAtao)

Here are some additional findings from the nationwide survey of U.S. workers:

  • During the recruitment process, workers say it is important to hear that employee perspectives are valued (85 percent), employees feel safe bringing their authentic self to work (80 percent), leadership has transparent decision making (80 percent), and the company has a collaborative culture (75 percent).
  • When considering a new job, employees say it is important that there are employees they identify with (63 percent), leaders they identify with (59 percent), and that DEI is a priority for the CEO (52 percent).

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  • Across the workforce, employee say factors that are important when choosing an employer include meaningful work (61 percent), confidence in the company (53 percent), identifying with company values (41 percent), and enthusiasm about the mission (41 percent).
  • When considering a new job, employees across the board say it is important to hear that the company promotes work-life balance (87 percent), workers feel respected (87 percent), employees are recognized for their work (86 percent), and workers feel connected to their colleagues (77 percent).
  • More than half of employees (55 percent) indicate that the ability to advance their compensation is important when considering a new job, as is career advancement potential (49 percent), career training (47 percent), relationships for career advice (41 percent), and equitable career advancement opportunities (35 percent).


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