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Diversity in the Workplace: There’s Work To Do Thinkstock

Diversity in the Workplace: There’s Work To Do

Workplaces still have work to do when it comes to diversity.

Today’s workplaces might be diverse but they still have a long way to go in terms of diversity, if the results of a recent survey are any indication.

The New Jersey State of Diversity Survey, in which Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind polled 571 working adults in New Jersey, found that 90 percent of workers think their employers value diversity.

And 83 percent of those polled said that they interact daily at work with someone of a race different than their own.

However, 47 percent of respondents have never had any training on diversity and cultural awareness.

“It is encouraging to learn that such a high percentage of NJ workers see their employers as valuing diversity and respect,” said Ted Deutsch, president of New Jersey-based strategic communications firm Taft and Partners, which requested the survey. 

“Yet there is a large gap between the employers who have that perception and those who make these sensitive topics a training priority. Training alone is not the answer – recruitment, communications, mentoring and everyday equal treatment are critical – but it is still surprising that more employees haven’t experienced formal cultural awareness training.”

Nearly twenty percent of workers polled have heard things at work that might be considered offensive about Muslims and racial/ethnic minorities.

At least 78 percent of employers though do impose consequences when they hear about offensive comments. 

“Overall, the survey results show that New Jersey working adults encounter diversity quite regularly, though their employers have not universally embraced training and there may still be insensitive conversations happening in the workplace,” said Dr. Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science.

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