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Survey: How A 2022 Recession Could Impact DEI Efforts

15 Sep, 2022

by Madeline Enos
Survey: How A 2022 Recession Could Impact DEI Efforts

Recent economic challenges have widened equity gaps, with notable losses to women’s participation in the workforce. In addition, Black women & men are taking the longest time to regain their employment after the pandemic. For years, HR & DEI practitioners have worked to hire & retain a diverse workforce, and the recent backslide brings up concerns for the future outlook for women and historically underrepresented groups at work. To learn more, Included conducted a pulse survey on Workplace Trends and surveyed 250 employees in the U.S. regarding perceptions and concerns about how a recession could impact job security and DEI efforts at organizations.

Key Findings:

  • Women are feeling more concerned about job loss related to a potential recession. In the wake of a possible recession, 48% of women survey respondents did not think their job would be secure (vs. just 34% of men).
  • People of color and women are more fearful that DEI efforts could be undermined by an economic recession. When asked if they were afraid that an economic downturn would impact their company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, 60% of survey respondents who identified as people of color agreed, and only 44% of white survey respondents agreed; 56% of women agreed and only 45% of men agreed.
  • Many companies are not using technology or tools to support their DEI strategy or are not sharing this info with employees. When asked if their company uses data and technology to help diversify their workforce:
    • Less than half of the respondents said yes
    • A third said their company might, but they haven’t communicated about it
    • 14% said no

Committing to DEI & an equitable future

So how can you combat these challenges, protect your employer brand, and build an equitable future for your organization? Here are commitments you can make:

  • Communication & transparency: Although survey respondents voiced concerns, the majority trusted their company to be prepared for and communicate in the event of an economic recession. 70% trusted their company to be transparent about potential layoffs or hiring freezes & 63% think their company is prepared for an economic recession. Protect that trust by keeping lines of communication open about business changes, and continue to affirm your commitment to DEI goals.
  • Know your data and set a smart strategy: Previous generations relied on visual assessments and lagging indicators like survey results. A new generation of DEI platforms assist with goal setting, proactive guidance for inclusive actions, and showing DEI data in real-time to support continuous improvement.

Prioritizing your DEI efforts will have a long-term positive impact on your employer brand and business, regardless of economic headwinds. During the Great Recession, diverse and inclusive companies outperformed the stock performance of less inclusive companies by 400%. Learn how Included can help you protect your DEI strategy and business performance– schedule a demo today!

Survey methodology

The Workplace Trends Survey was conducted in June 2022. We surveyed 250 employees in the U.S. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number. We worded the questions to ensure that each respondent fully understood the meaning and topic.

Madeline Enos

Madeline Enos is a marketing leader and DEI advocate. She began her career in the nonprofit sector, then joined the tech space in 2015 at Gartner, the world's largest tech research & consulting firm. She now serves as Head of Marketing at Included.

Learn more about Included, book your demo here.

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