US millennials want diversity that’s more than just skin-deep

THERE’S no straightforward solution to keeping workers happy these days.

Companies that are diverse retain younger workers longer, yet that’s not as simple as increasing the number of women in management or hiring from different ethnic and racial groups. Millennial workers and those in Generation Z—the demographic after the millennials, born from about the mid-1990s—say businesses most need to address having workers with varied educational backgrounds, according to a Deloitte study.

Educational background tops age, gender, disability, ethnicity, social status, sexual identity or orientation and religion as an area of diversity young workers say businesses should work on most, according to the survey of more than 12,000 millennials and Gen Z-ers from 36 countries conducted from November 2017 to mid-January 2018.

This perception of diversity is “more inward looking,” and related to what younger people experience—where there are many different pathways instead of a “straitjacket, monolithic” educational route, said Lawrence Loh, director of the Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations at the National University of Singapore’s Business School. “They want to get all this diversity of pathways recognized by companies,” he said.

A diverse workforce could be key to retaining millennial talent at a time when many young employees believe job hopping can be beneficial for one’s career.

Globally, almost 70 percent of those who intend to stay with their companies more than five years consider their organizations diverse, and 56 percent say the senior management team is diverse. In Asia, this trend is more pronounced, with 80 percent of loyal workers saying their organization is diverse, and 74 percent saying the senior management team is diverse.

“This issue of inclusiveness is already now hard-coded into millennials,” Loh said.

Image Credits: Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com .

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