Not too long ago, I wrote an article about how far we've come since the ground breaking #MeToo movement spread across the world. There's certainly been major advancements, including a number of men losing their jobs, as well as New York and California passing laws that require company harassment training and making it easier to report abuse.
Despite all the attention and activism, my fears were confirmed after reviewing recent research from Greenhouse. They surveyed more than 1,300 businesses and 4,000 employees to analyze the most important aspects of the workplace and uncover the trends impacting it. Their Workplace Intelligence Report revealed that only 8% of employers surveyed said their companies are addressing the #MeToo movement. What's worse, less than a quarter (24%) are actually addressing sexual harassment.
During a time when we should be pushing the boundaries on rights in general, this startling statistic opens up another important conversation, that of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Despite the immense benefit of establishing employer-based programs addressing diversity and inclusion, there's a major gap between what they say they're doing and employees' awareness of those measures.
Greenhouse further reported that while 55% of companies say they have a D&I program, more than 45% of staff-level employees don't know if their employer has a D&I program in place or claims their employer doesn't have one at all. Another 47% of employers said that D&I initiatives have a positive improvement on company culture, yet 48% of employees say their employer only handles D&I issues through grievance processes.
"Businesses are experiencing a seismic shift in the way they operate today," said George LaRocque, Founder & Principal Analyst, HRWins. "They must adapt to advances in talent tech, as well as rapidly shifting cultural and social changes in the workplace. Despite awareness of the benefits of D&I for employees and ROI, too many organizations are still approaching diversity and inclusion the same way they always have, yet they're expecting a different outcome."
We need to do better. Although deeply-ingrained cultural norms are really hard to change, they can change. It requires a dynamic leader leading the transition along with every senior person in the company initiating the changes being asking. It also involves a lengthy commitment, taking on average three months for habits to get locked in. Behavioral change is hard, but if we come together to make a commitment to be consistent, we can hopefully start changing these statistics.