Most employees say COVID-19, diversity policies are not genuine: 8 study findings

The majority of employees see their employers' policies as performative, according to a recent report. 

Catalyst, a U.S.-based nonprofit seeking to build workplaces for women, surveyed 6,975 employees in 14 countries for its "Words Aren't Enough: The Risks of Performative Policies" report. The findings revealed an overwhelming distrust of policies related to COVID-19 and racial equity. At the same time, when employees did believe in their organizations' policies, they displayed better job outcomes.   


Here are eight key takeaways from the study: 

1. Empathetic leaders are integral to whether policies are perceived positively. 

2. Sixty-eight percent of employees say their organization's COVID-19 policies are not genuine. 

3. Employees who perceive policies are genuine express a higher intent to stay. Those who also have empathetic employers report 30 percent less burnout. 

4. Seventy-five percent of employees say their organization's racial equity policies are not genuine. 

5. Employees of color who perceived diversity policies as genuine express a higher intent to stay and better engagement. 

6. Employees from marginalized groups are 6 percent less likely to view diversity policies as genuine than white employees. 

7. Out of white and ethnically marginalized women and men, white women are most likely to believe racial equity policies are genuine, at 33 percent. White men are least likely, at 22 percent. 

8. Forty-five percent of employees with "genuine" racial equity policies report feeling included, as opposed to 26 percent of employees without them. 


Read the full report here.


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