With that occasion
on the horizon, the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) surveyed diversity
& inclusion (D&I) leaders to determine how business organizations are
identifying and addressing discriminatory behavior toward Asian employees
prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
results show that the majority of organizations are choosing to be reactive, preferring
to wait for issues to surface rather than acting in anticipation of potential problems
or specifically reinforcing their support of Asian employees.
half (47%) of surveyed leaders say their organizations rely on individuals to
self-report any problems to HR or D&I. Similarly, allowing issues to
surface through employee contacts with managers and supervisors is the strategy
favored by 37% of respondents.
smaller percentages of D&I leaders (25%) are choosing to be proactive by
leveraging their organizations’ Asian employee groups (ERGs/BRGs) to identify
(20%) indicated that their organizations rely on employee resource groups to
initiate conversations about discriminatory behavior toward employees of Asian
How is your
organization identifying discriminatory behavior toward Asian employees (either
on or off the job) and providing a safe space for them to talk about the issue?
all-that-apply response option means total exceeds 100%
Those and a handful
of other active responses may prove to be savvy practices in showing support for
new lines of communication, such as web portals or hotlines, to facilitate
educational resources on xenophobia
senior leaders in visible support of Asian employees
with community and professional groups to host conversation forums
companies take now, or don’t take, to reaffirm their respect and regard for their
employees of Asian descent could send signals to other diverse employee groups–or
into their broader markets–especially among those with commemorative events upcoming.
May also brings Cinco de Mayo celebrations and Memorial Day observances, while
June is Pride Month for the LGBTQIA community. This is an opportune time for
organizations to make choices that send positive messages to all
The survey did ask
about companies’ plans for upcoming commemorative events, given stay-at-home
mandates in most states. Most respondents said their support and participation for
such diversity celebrations would take place virtually this year, though
several indicated they are putting all such observances on hold.
explored strategies organizations are leveraging to ensure continued visibility
of women and minorities while they work remotely. This proved another area in
which some D&I leaders are engaging ERGs/BRGs in such roles as sponsoring
online panels related to the COVID-19 response and continuing established talent
and leadership sourcing expectations for groups’ executive sponsors.
the full survey results—due
to the current global health and productivity crisis affecting everyone, i4cp
is making all related ongoing research publicly available.
encourage you to visit i4cp.com/coronavirus for other employer resources including discussion forums, next
practices, useful resources, and more.