As diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives become more commonplace among corporations, employees have differing opinions on how prevalent these policies should be.
- Over half of all workers surveyed view DEI as a positive in the workplace, but opinions vary greatly depending on demographics and political leanings, according to a recent Pew Research report.
- Around 60% of those surveyed reported that they had encountered DEI policies in the workplace, and a majority reported that the initiatives had positively affected their work experience.
- While most workers view DEI as a positive thing, a smaller number think it is valuable in their workplace. Only around 30% say DEI is essential when considering where they will work.
- Women and Democrat workers were more likely than men and Republican workers to prioritize DEI at work.
Why it’s news
DEI policies have become increasingly common at large corporations but have also become controversial politically. Smaller companies are also embracing DEI initiatives, and while many workers adopt DEI policies, Pew’s survey shows that the programs are still divisive within certain demographics.
Around 56% of workers say that focusing on DEI policies is positive, with only 16% saying it is negative. Women, minorities, and workers under 30 are most likely to view DEI positively.
Over half of those surveyed think that their employer has the right amount of focus on DEI. Only 14% say there is too much emphasis, and 15% say there is too little. This perspective varies sharply between political parties, with 24% of Republicans saying their workplace pays too much attention to DEI and 21% of Democrats saying there is too little emphasis on it.
Despite a generally positive view of DEI initiatives in the workplace, a much smaller number consider DEI when choosing an employer. Around 32% say racial and ethnic diversity is important to them when choosing a workplace. Another 38% say this consideration is not important to them at all.
Workplace diversity when considering ages or genders is even less important to workers, with 28% saying they consider diverse ages to be important and 26% valuing diverse genders. Only 18% say it is important to them that their workplace has employees of varying sexual orientations.
Black, Hispanic, and Asian workers are more likely to say that a diverse workplace is important to them. Over half of Black workers surveyed said it is very important, 39% of Hispanic workers and 43% of Asian workers said the same. Around 25% of White workers said it is a priority.
Younger employees are also more likely to prioritize diversity in the workplace. Around 35% of those under 50 said this is very important compared to 26% of those over 50 who did not feel the same way.