A recent survey conducted by DEJI Digital, a division of Green Park, a UK talent firm specialising in diverse and equitable workplaces, sheds light on concerning disparities in inclusivity and diversity practices within UK workplaces.

The survey, conducted in collaboration with Opinium and based on responses from 1257 UK workers underscore critical gaps in workplace policies, training, and leadership fostering inclusivity. It reveals stark realities about inclusivity in the workplace. An alarming 73% of respondents state that their management does not foster respect and inclusivity, highlighting a significant shortfall in leadership initiatives to create inclusive environments.

Other key findings include:

  • 66% of UK workers note the absence of anti-discrimination or anti-harassment policies in their workplaces.
  • 68% face challenges in finding clear and accessible pathways to report discrimination or harassment incidents.
  • 70% lack supportive resources, such as counselling services, in their workplaces.
  • 75% report the absence of training sessions combating bias and teaching professional conduct.

Challenges Amidst Political and Corporate Debates

These alarming figures surface amidst substantial political and corporate debates surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DE&I) budgets. Recent calls for the dissolution of diversity manager positions within the UK Government and NHS, coupled with announcements from major corporations like Google and Meta about cuts to DE&I policies, underscore the challenges faced by DE&I initiatives in today’s climate.

Additionally, the Labour Party’s recent commitment to extending equal pay rights to black, Asian, and minority ethnic workers further highlights the pressing need for comprehensive inclusivity measures.

In response to these findings, DEJI Digital, a Green Park company, is taking a proactive approach to address the gaps in DE&I training. The company is developing an inclusive, scalable, and cost-effective AI coach designed to equip managers with essential tools, resources, and training for engaging in effective and empathetic conversations with diverse team members. This initiative aims to launch later this year, with the potential to reduce spending on traditional training methods by up to 20%.

Bontle Senne, Co-Founder and CEO at DEJI Digital, underscores the critical need for improved communication and understanding in the workplace. Senne notes that current gaps, whether due to unintentional bias, cultural misunderstandings, or lack of awareness about DE&I principles, contribute to a hostile work environment. With many managers lacking adequate training in DE&I, innovative solutions become imperative, especially considering the potential profitability linked to diverse leadership.