Today, Astriid candidate and volunteer Ellie shares a piece inspired by a recent research study into the impact of providing diversity information on employment listings, and how this intersects with our mission as a charity.
Research Digest published a recent article summarising a US study undertaken by the SMU School of Business on whether or not individual job-seekers value diversity information in job listings when seeking work and clicking on these listings. With a 2018 survey on Millennials in business by Deloitte stating that 69% of Millennials want to work in more diverse companies, the SMU study mirrors an apparent growing desire in younger generations for diversity in the workplace.
About The Study
The study lasted 11 weeks and evaluated 178,862 participants and, in partnership with a US job recruitment company, sent postings by email with no diversity information out to half the participants who were used as a baseline group. The remaining half of participants received emails, which included companies’ numerical diversity score, in areas such as race, education, gender and language skills and compared them to other local companies in similar fields. Components measured within the study were which of the emails were opened, and what positions were clicked through. The researchers also provided a survey for participants to complete after the study to better understand the affects on diversity information on the individual jobseeker.
The results of the study found that participants in the second group (those with the additional data) were more likely to click on listings with the diversity information than those in the baseline group. The diversity information group even tended to click through on jobs that had a reduced salary where those on the baseline groups did not. However, researchers were quick to state that click-through rate compared to actual job up-take or hiring rate when compared with another higher paying job, for example, was not a definite indication and left room for possible future studies.
Through the survey, researchers found that diversity information was of most use to women and people of colour. When asked why participants felt diversity in companies was an important factor for them the responses were that, firstly, they agreed that it was an important social issue and wanted to see if the management agreed with this. And, secondly, knowing the diversity score assisted their evaluation of whether or not they would enjoy and feel comfortable working within that company.
The previously mentioned Deloitte survey on Millennials in business reflects this trend by suggesting how to attract future employees into business. ‘Good pay and positive cultures are likely to attract both Millennials and Gen Z, but diversity, inclusion and flexibility are important keys to keep [employees] happy’. When asked what millennials thought were the most critical points to be addressed in business and the wider society the answers included- age, gender, disability, race and educational background. Emphasis was also put on the degree of flexibility offered within a company becoming appealing to and aiding employees’ loyalty and work efficacy.
One of Astriid’s core aims is to connect people with chronic or long-term illnesses with real jobs. When the founder of Astriid, David Shutts set up the charity he found that although he had lost his former career after becoming ill, working on Astriid had increased his mental health by reintroducing career-based purpose back into his life.
With disability employment rates in 2021 at 52.7% (4.4million people) compared to 81% of non- disabled people, (a meagre 0.1 percentage point increase from 2019), and with disabled and chronically ill people moving out of work at nearly twice the rate (8.8%) of non-disabled workers (4.9%), disabled people in the workplace remain a minority.
Astriid’s goal is to bridge this divide between ‘innovative businesses and talented individuals with long term health conditions’ and is eager to become the vehicle which taps into the largely over-looked talent pool by showing employers that once people are allowed flexibility they can still work as hard as is needed for the company.
While topics such as gender, race, and sexual orientation were focused on in the SMU study, diversity benefits all underrepresented social groups, which also includes those with disabilities and chronic illnesses. The study highlighted a trend for jobseekers positively responding to a company’s diversity data, which helped the participants assess if the company addressed the social issue and whether they would feel comfortable working in it. It also highlighted areas for further study, such as if applicants would choose a lower salary if a company was more diverse over a higher paying but less diverse workplace.
This data from SMU and the 2018 Deloitte survey is beneficial when thinking of Astriid’s goal of making the workplace accessible for and supporting those with long term or chronic illnesses and disabilities. The studies indicate that diversity in the workplace is becoming required by many candidates, especially in the Millennial and Gen Z age brackets. The hope is that diversity becoming a priority for job seekers is more likely to prompt companies to hire a more diverse workforce, which is a crucial step into making work for those with disabilities and chronic health conditions more accessible.
Thank you to Ellie for sharing this piece about the impact of providing diversity information in job listings! The original research paper that inspired this piece is available to download online.
Here at Astriid, we match talented people with long-term illnesses with meaningful employment opportunities. We work with employers to make sure that they can meet candidates’ needs, and help candidates through all stages of their ‘work ready’ journey. You can find out more by visiting our website!