December 2, 2020 BestCompaniesAZ

Diversity Trends In The Workplace To Watch in 2021

Diversity in the workplace matters. With a reinvigorated focus on diversity and inclusion in the wake of 2020’s worldwide marches for racial justice, customers and employees want companies to do their part to create diverse workplaces.

This work has already been undertaken with the Women on Boards global movement. The movement’s goal was to achieve 20% of women sitting on corporate boards by 2020 and 50% by 2021 and beyond. The success of the 2020 goal is evidence of progress; however, more work must be done.

Companies should evaluate diversity efforts regularly. Consistently measuring the impact of initiatives helps make meaningful progress toward a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Reviewing diversity trends each year helps businesses identify where to focus their efforts. Merging national and global diversity trends with internal data allows companies to craft focused programs, initiatives, and efforts to directly impact their current and future employees.

There are so many diversity trends to watch in 2021. Here are five interesting HR trends in diversity to consider.

Diversity in the Workplace: 2021 Diversity Trends to Consider

Dedicated Diversity Leadership

Companies all over the nation and the world are working to respond to workplace diversity trends to create a better future. According to a 2019 survey of more than 200 companies in the S&P 500, 63% of diversity professionals were promoted or appointed to their roles within the past three years.

In previous years, diversity and inclusion have often been last on executive’s list of business priorities. But, with renewed focus on these efforts, more and more companies are choosing to invest in and prioritize diversity by hiring dedicated, full-time professionals to lead the charge.

Employee Resource Groups

Employee resource groups continue to be one of the more prominent HR trends in diversity. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employee resource groups exist at many companies and continue to grow in popularity. These groups create a safe space for people with similar identity characteristics, such as ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, to gather, socialize, and discuss relevant issues.

Employee resource groups help employees meet other employees they have things in common with, improving employee onboarding and retention. Often, they also help companies identify gaps in their talent development process, according to SHRM.

GoDaddy, one of BestCompaniesAZ’s top companies, helps its employees connect through ERGs like Fitness In Tech, Asians in Technology, Abilities in Technology, and Black in Technology groups. Workiva, another BestCompaniesAZ company, has unique ERGs such as it’s Rainbow, Connected Nomads, and Women in Tech groups.

Transparency and Honest Conversations

In 2020, many companies publicly disclosed data around internal diversity, equity, and inclusion. This transparent move was the first one, for many companies, toward intentional action plans to improve. Internal and external transparency about where companies stand with diversity efforts also inspires honest conversations.

Many companies have honest conversations about racism, sexism, and other topics that directly affect employees in the workforce. These conversations are opportunities for employees and leadership to exhale, share, and empathize with one another, a necessary component for improving workplace inclusion.

Opt-In Learning Opportunities

Increasing the number of opt-in learning opportunities for employees is another workplace diversity trend that will continue to grow in 2021. This trend represents a shift from hosting mandatory training to opt-in training where employees can learn more about diversity topics.

Research studies have shown that mandatory diversity training isn’t always met with openness from all employees, according to Forbes.com. To some, the training feels forced, causing animosity and resistance. Opt-in learning opportunities allow employees to engage at their own pace. Incentives to attend can also help increase employee opt-in rates for these programs.

Focusing on a Post-Generational Workforce

Age is another aspect of diversity. While previous human resource management approaches focused on insights based on workers’ age and generations, this approach has become complicated due to the increasingly blended workforce.

Today’s workforce spans five generations, according to insights from Deloitte. This diversity births the need for a post-generational approach, looking at the workforce’s needs from a new lens.

Putting Diversity Trends To Work

There are so many ways to put these HR trends in diversity to work in your workplace. BestCompaniesAZ has many resources for job seekers and employers looking to be or to work for Arizona’s top companies.

BestCompaniesAZ offers a free resource highlighting diversity committed employers in Arizona for job seekers. Employers interested in learning more about workplace diversity trends or employer branding services can contact BestCompaniesAZ here. Explore BestCompaniesAZ to see all of the resources, jobs, articles, and information available.