Diversity in business pays, according to FIDI study

Moving industry companies who focus actively on diversity in their businesses perform more strongly than those who do not, according to the results of a new FIDI study on gender and diversity.

The 2019 survey, Satisfaction and Diversity in the Relocation and Moving Industry, found a significant relationship between those who employ general diversity management practices and better business performance; and a highly significant relationship for those who employ diversity management practices with a particular focus on gender.

The recently completed study of FIDI-affiliated businesses was launched in early 2019 by FIDI’s 39 Club and Dr Sebastian Stoermer at the University of Goettingen, Germany, which specialises in diversity and expatriation. It focuses on diversity management generally and diversity management practices specifically targeted at female employees in the relocation and moving industry; as well as the availability of work-family support practices and the compatibility of moving industry work and family obligations.

The aim was to investigate links between diversity management efforts and work/family support practices and organisational performance and staff turnover; and to measure the status of females and other traditionally disadvantaged groups, including social minorities, in the industry.

The study was split into two parts, a survey of businesses as a whole and a survey of individual employees. It involved CEOs, HR representatives and other employees. It measured aspects including: the demographic make-up of staff, including the share of women; engagement in diversity management; availability of programmes facilitating female careers and work/family support practices.

The employee survey spoke to individuals from both traditionally privileged and underprivileged social groups. Despite the apparent importance of diversity to business illustrated, the survey shows approximately 25 per cent of the moving businesses monitored show relatively low or no overall engagement in diversity management and, therefore, should be looking to give this ‘further attention and room for improvement in the futureʼ.

Nevertheless, some 80 per cent of organisations are pursuing an approach to diversity management specifically on gender to a ‘rather highʼ to ‘very highʼ degree.

The survey also showed a very high level of job satisfaction among employees, with 88 per cent of respondents saying they had a ‘rather highʼ to ‘very highʼ satisfaction with their job.

There was also an ‘extremely significantʼ relationship between the openness of a workplace to diversity, to the satisfaction of their employees; there is also a positive relationship between the feeling of equality of status among employees and their job satisfaction. Similarly, in those workplaces where employees are experiencing tension between their work and home lives, job satisfaction is generally lower.

We will report on these results further in FIDI Focus magazine. FIDI is also producing a white paper on the results of this survey, which it will make available to all Affililates.

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