Is DE&I working? Navigating work’s equality gap through Black voices
January 11th, 2024, Hoang Nguyen

Is DE&I working? Navigating work’s equality gap through Black voices

Across America, workplaces boast diversity initiatives and inclusion statements. But how far have we actually come, and what do the lived experiences of Black Americans tell us about workplace equality? Let's delve deeper into how Black Americans view DE&I.

The current situation

A new survey from YouGov Self-serve reveals that only 29% of Black workers feel they have equal or mostly equal opportunity to advance. The gender gap widens this disparity, with only 23% of Black women in the workforce feeling equal opportunity compared to 42% of Black men.

How far have we come?

In regard to progress towards workplace equality, 40% of Black Americans say we are closer to achieving that goal now compared to 10 years ago. Again, Black men were significantly more optimistic than Black women to think so (48% to 37%).

However, over a quarter (28%) of Black Americans think there has been little to no change within the last decade and 18% believe we’re even further adrift from that goal.

Are the goals of the DE&I movement tangible targets or a distant dream?

When asked about the DE&I movement’s timeline, 22% of Black Americans hold an optimistic view that the goals of the DE&I movement will be achieved in the next 10 years and 14% see the goals as within reach sometime between 2034 and 2050.

An additional 11% believe that the aims of the DE&I movement will not be realized until after 2050.

A significant 24% believe equality will be forever beyond reach and that the aims of the DE&I movement will never be achieved.

How important are DE&I initiatives to job seekers?

DE&I extends beyond optics and may even impact job applicants. We asked Black Americans just how important DE&I initiatives would be to them if they were looking for a new job tomorrow and a resounding 75% say such initiatives are “very” or “somewhat” important when choosing a new employer.

Companies serious about attracting and retaining Black talent must recognize DE&I as a strategic imperative, not just a box to check. Investing in genuine efforts strengthens employer branding, fosters innovation, and ultimately drives better business outcomes.