Canadian marketers are almost universal in their belief that diversity and inclusion are good for business, benefit everyone and show alignment with people and with the community, according to findings released today by the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA).
The problem, the CMA noted, is that observations and experiences with discrimination vary significantly between men and women and between minorities and non-minorities.
“Hiring people from diverse backgrounds is the first step to addressing inequities,” says John Wiltshire, its president and CEO. “Ensuring they are included, empowered, and mentored to share their perspectives and fully participate in the workplace is the next critical step.”
The report – Diversity and Inclusion in Canada’s Marketing Sector: CMA Research Findings 2021 – highlights the “need for greater awareness and concrete action when it comes to inclusion.
“For example, while the vast majority (86%) of marketers believe that perspectives like theirs are included in decision-making, minority women (82%) are less likely to hold this view compared to non-minority men (95%).”
Findings revealed that:
- Nearly one-third (32%) of respondents have witnessed staff from diverse backgrounds being talked down to or ignored in meetings. But this awareness drops to 11% when asked of non-minority men and rises to 50% when asked of minority men.
- A majority (63%) of respondents have noticed others being less engaged due to institutional, interpersonal, structural or internalized systems of discrimination, but less than half (49%) of non-minority respondents have observed this, compared to 77% of minority respondents.
- When asked if they had personally felt less engaged in the workplace due to systems of discrimination, the results were consistent: Just 17% of non-minority men have felt this way, compared to more than half of minority respondents (52% of women and 53% of men).
- Despite these figures, many are concerned about speaking up: A majority (59%) of marketers agree that people don’t push for change because they don’t want to be seen as disruptive. This is especially true of minorities (66%) compared to non-minorities (53%).
The survey shows that a key to a more inclusive workplace is better diversity at the leadership level.
“To create safer and stronger workplaces, we need more people with diverse backgrounds in senior roles. Period,” Wiltshire said.