Door of Clubs 2017 Gen Z: Diversity in the Workplace Report

We Asked 5,000 Gen Z’ers to Name the Most and Least Diverse & Inclusive Employers; Here’s What They Said

Recently we dove into our Gen Z in the Workplace study, which looked at what this highly influential and talented generation values and expects from the workplace, as well as the ways they will be a major catalyst of change and innovation in the workplace.

Part of our study looked at the top causes that Gen Z wants to see their employers support. Not surprisingly, equality took the number one spot. This means that employers who aren’t making a real effort to stand for equality need to do so or risk losing out on the enormous wealth of talent and innovation that Gen Z holds.

A critical way for employers to show their support of equality is to cultivate workplace environments that foster diversity and inclusion (D&I). While D&I are important on a fundamentally moral level, they have also proven to impact company’s bottom lines.

In fact, A 2015 McKinsey report that analyzed 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean. Diverse teams are also able to hedge against groupthink and have proven to be more innovative than homogeneous teams.

As a follow-up analysis, we separately polled 5,000 Gen Z’ers who will soon be entering the workforce from over 100 universities across the country and asked them questions about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Introducing Door of Clubs 2017 Gen Z: Diversity in the Workplace Report.

The results were extremely interesting and provide data and insights that companies should pay extremely close attention to. Diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace are of the utmost importance to Gen Z.

In fact, when we asked Gen Z respondents to rank on a 1–10 scale how much they value employers diversity and inclusion efforts, over 1,419 said 10! Only 63 responded with a 1, to give us an average value of 7.5.

Things got even more interesting when we started to gauge Gen Z’s thoughts on the D&I efforts of specific organizations. Let’s take a look!

The Most & Least Inclusive Employers in the Eyes of Gen Z Entering the Workforce

Top 3 Most Inclusive

1. Google:

While this may be a bit of a surprise given the negative news vortex that Google has been pulled into surrounding diversity and inclusion, almost half of its leadership team is made up of women. And this is an important factor amongst Gen Z. In fact, our report found that having women and people of color in leadership positions is the number one factor (37%) in a company being viewed as inclusive.

The company has also been transparent about their shortcomings in the past and they’ve made a very concerted effort to share the steps they are taking to double down on diversity and inclusion. Notably, Google has also taken a macro view of cultivating a diverse pipeline of talent — as evident in their recent partnership with Chance The Rapper to bring computer science education to students in the Chicago area. The tech giant will give $1.5 million towards STEM in Chicago schools.

2. Apple:

Recently, Apple released new data that highlights that the company added more women to its leadership ranks and further touts that 50% of new hires are from historically underrepresented groups in tech. While a closer look at the numbers reveals only slight increases, Apple acknowledged that diversifying an employee base of roughly 130,000 workers is no easy task, saying: “Meaningful change takes time.”

While they certainly have more progress to make, perhaps their most promising sign starts at the top. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO has been very clear about his stance on diversity, saying things like,“I think the most diverse group will produce the best product, I firmly believe that.” Cook has also joined Google in an effort to bring STEM to the Chicago school system through the companies Everybody Can Code program. The CEO has also taken stands on border human rights issues, most recently when he said he disagrees with President Trump’s response to the Charlottesville riots. However, that’s not to say Apple is spotless when it comes to negative headlines around its own diversity efforts.

3. Facebook:

Facebook has also made small steps in improving the diversity amongst its employees, with women, African Americans and Hispanics all gaining more representation. Sheryl Sandberg, the social media company’s COO, has become a vocal champion of diversity and inclusion, particularly when it comes to women in the workplace. The author of Lean In recently said, “we won’t unlock the full potential of the workplace until we see how far from equality we really are.” Facebook and Sandberg have also taken a stand against the widespread issue of sexual harassment, making internal sexual harassment policy, including a strongly worded clause that protects employees who report misconduct, public.

Top 3 Least Inclusive

1. Uber:

With its CEO forced to step down after allegations of rampant sexual harassment, and an investigation into the company’s practices, it’s no surprise that Uber was recognized by our Gen Z respondents the most for its lack of diversity and inclusion. Interestingly enough, UBER’s own diversity report which the company released before the news broke about the sexual harassment allegations, was slightly more positive than some other tech giants, including Facebook.

Uber reported that its workplace was 8.8 percent black (FB: 2 percent black) 5.6 percent Latino (FB:4% Latino) and 4.3 percent two more or races 3 percent two or more races in the U.S.) But as UBER proves, numbers are just one part of the equation. Our Gen Z respondents reinforce that, with only 22% of respondents choosing employee demographics as the factor that would cause them to view an employer as diverse and inclusive. The culture that’s fostered on the inside is equally important.

2. Trump White House Administration:

To Gen Z, it seems like Trump and his spokespeople can’t seem to get out of their own way. From sexual misconduct allegations, the call to delay transgender enlistment in the military, to the Muslim travel ban, and his daily tweets, there’s a seemingly endless stream of news about the administration’s diversity and inclusion issues.

3. Google:

At first, this may seem a bit odd. Google was chosen the most by Gen Z’ers as a diverse and inclusive employer. So why then is it also number three on the list of the least diverse and inclusive? As we mentioned earlier, Google has been the subject of a great deal of negative press after a leaked memo from an engineer caused a diversity uproar.

Outside of thoughts on on specific companies, here were other top findings:

  • At best, Gen Z thinks employers are under-prioritizing diversity, at worst, they claim racism. When we asked respondents “In your opinion, why don’t employers have enough women & people of color in leadership?” 45% noted we under-prioritize it. More than 27% were not afraid to say employers are simply racist/sexist.
  • Diverse leadership teams are the reason college students believe employers are inclusive. When we asked “What would make you believe an employer is inclusive?” over 53% noted it was having a diverse leadership team. The next most common answer was overall employee demographics (22%) .
  • Gen Z won’t be sitting quietly on the sidelines. Upon entering the workforce, Gen Z plans to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. When we asked respondents “What they would do if their employer wasn’t inclusive to women & people of color?” an overwhelming majority (62%) said they would talk to leadership about it. While a great deal of the issues we are facing today in the workplace have been exacerbate or prolonged because of people sitting on the sidelines, Gen Z is poised to change that.
  • Further reinforcing this is the fact that the majority of respondents (38%) chose showing courage to challenge inappropriate behavior as the behavior most important to them.