Diversity Sought By Job Seekers, Employers

February 14, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Almost unanimously, employers say they have a diverse workforce.

Ninety percent of all organizations polled said they have a diverse workforce. Of these responding in the affirmative, 92% of hiring managers say senior managers at their organizations strongly support diversity as a goal, 79% say cultivating diversity of thought is part of the organization’s overall business strategy and 70% believe that their diversity initiatives have a positive impact on their business performance, according to a survey by The New York Times Job Market.

Not surprisingly, the same 92% say their company’s senior management strongly supports diversity as a company goal. Only 13% of employers say funding for their diversity programs tends to get cut more frequently than other programs during tough economic periods.

The remaining 10% that did not answer to having a diverse workplace say their organizations are too small to create a diversity policy (61%) or see no need to develop such a policy (38%).

All Over The Board

A majority of employers at businesses with diversity programs, 72%, say the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse candidates is part of their organizations’ overall business strategy.   Sixty-seven percent of hiring managers say they are actively seeking to recruit job candidates who are:

  • Hispanic (68%)
  • Black (65%)
  • Female (65%)
  • Asian (60%)
  • Over age 50 (56%)
  • Disabled (50%).

Looking For Diversity

The employers views were echoed through job seekers, 97% of who say they prefer to work in a diverse business environment.   Additionally, 91% of those looking for employment are supportive of diversity policies because these policies make a company a better place to work.

Job seekers also have noted the moves for diversity through their employers. More than one in four (26%) say they have participated in programs designed to increase workplace diversity.   These programs include:

  • Sensitivity/awareness training (51%)
  • Mentor programs (39%)
  • Other diversity-related programs (20%)
  • Affinity groups (16%)

When asked about which programs provided the most value, job seekers report gaining the most value from mentor programs (80%), affinity groups (79%) and sensitivity/awareness training (64%).