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It’s 2023 and we’re still experiencing diversity & confusion

Updated: 5 days ago

It’s 2023 and we’re still experiencing diversity & confusion

In 2021, we published a report that drew one major conclusion about the understanding of and attitudes towards equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) in the UK business at the time: organisations were largely in a state of diversity and confusion.

The inaugural Diversity & Confusion report exposed low levels of cultural confidence across the workforce, fear of saying the wrong thing hindering the progress of ED&I, and uncertainty about who should and shouldn’t play a role in the ED&I agenda.

Back then, the murder of George Floyd and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had initiated a wave of corporate commitments to tackle racism and socioeconomic inequalities, as internal and external stakeholders demanded change.

It’s now 2023 and more recent crises have brought different challenges to the fore. Today, a key boardroom conundrum is deciding what to prioritise as the workforce grows impatient to see which ED&I commitments materialise.

So, where are we now?

The data in our new Diversity & Confusion 2023 report indicates that we’re no longer only in a state of diversity and confusion.

We’re now also living in a state of diversity and…

  • Exclusion: Underrepresented employees are still more likely to feel excluded from ED&I conversations than others

  • Disillusion: Most people from underrepresented communities are growing frustrated by ED&I conversations and tired of talking about their identities with colleagues

  • Delusion: Employees are growing in confidence in relation to talking ‘professionally’ about ED&I, but this isn’t translating down into what sits under the agenda, such as disability, gender, race and ethnicity, religion or belief, sex, sexuality etc.

  • Illusion: British politics and some areas of the media are negatively impacting ED&I efforts, deliberately labelling its work as “woke” to stoke reactions across society

These data-driven themes are explained in the 2023 edition of our ‘state of the nation’ report, based on a survey of the UK workforce and new media analysis. You can look more closely at the data and read more about how to address the issues identified throughout the report on our resources page.


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