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The experts have been suggesting various diversity and inclusion (D&I) practices, procedures and programs in the workplace. However, which of those D&I policies do employees actually want? One research study from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) asked 16,500 female, LGBTQ and employees of color worldwide to rank which D&I policies were important to them.

Female employees

Female employees wanted to have visible role models and flexible-work programs. Healthcare, parental leave and family-members care were issues that were pertinent to them. 

Research indicates that flexible work, the key to retaining female workers could mean different things do different people. Flexible work could mean reduced hours, non-traditional hours or more opportunities to work from home.

Female employees also want companies to remove the stigma and negative perceptions attached to working from home.

Employees of color

For this group of employees, blind resume screening and having diverse interview panels were important. In a blind resume system, all the demographic information (name, address, graduation years, etc.) is removed to reduce the unconscious bias that takes place during the recruitment process.

Employees of color also indicated the desire for a bias-free day-to-day experience. They also want less blatant forms of bias like microaggressions should be discussed during inclusion training so that all employees will understand.

This group also wants advancement opportunities through formal sponsorships. Sponsorships can help expand one’s network. Employees with sponsors are more likely to advance in their career, according to Catalyst.

LGBTQ employees

LGBTQ employees want their company’s collaboration or partnership with LGBTQ-focused or LGBTQ-friendly organizations or Pride events.

LGBTQ employees also want healthcare policies that are transgender-inclusive and cover same-sex partnerships. Like employees of color, LGBTQ employees also expressed the need for more microaggression prevention and bias training in the workplace.

There is no one-size-fits-all D&I program and the specific D&I needs may change as time goes on, so companies must take the specific needs of each group into consideration when implementing D&I programs into the workplace.