Four in ten compliance professionals have experienced discrimination at work. The sector needs to commit to change.
Why compliance finds diversity a challenge
Sadly, discriminatory behaviour is still ingrained in many organisations. Given the general level of discrimination across society as a whole, however, this finding comes as no surprise to the experts involved in the report.
Just as in the wider community, unconscious bias and a general lack of diversity awareness leads to discriminatory behaviour at work. In organisations, this has a negative impact on company cultures and the career prospects of individuals. In many cases, discriminatory practices have been tolerated for so long that employees are fearful of speaking out.
Compliance professionals who did speak out in the poll also listed barriers to D&I. They include a failure of leadership, a lack of time, a fear of reprisals and a misunderstanding or miscommunication of the real issues and responsibilities involved. However, as one respondent noted, most of the obstacles that are commonly cited are in fact merely excuses.
For D&I to succeed in compliance, it’s essential to understand diversity and what it involves. Crucially, it will require considerable commitment to succeed, as well as the monitoring of measures and outcomes, both via formal employee engagement surveys and informal conversations. Ultimately, as the report makes clear, D&I is a constant, ongoing process.