Gender and diversity survey says: Good – but could be better

Following the completion of FIDI 39 Club’s report into satisfaction and diversity within the industry’s businesses, which it compiled with the help of the University of Goettingen in Germany, FIDI Focus looks at some of its key findings

As reported in the April/May issue of FIDI Focus, the results of the Satisfaction and Diversity in the Relocation and Moving Industry survey has been completed.

The initiative was launched by FIDI’s 39 Club at the beginning of 2019, to examine links between the level of diversity management and work-family support practices and organisational performance and staff turnover.

It also set out to measure the status of females and other traditionally disadvantaged groups, including social minorities, in the industry.

The survey focused on diversity management generally and, more specifically, those practices targeted at female employees in the relocation and moving industry. It also looked at the availability of work-family support practices and the compatibility of moving industry work and family obligations.

The survey was carried out in collaboration with Dr Sebastian Stoermer, at the University of Goettingen, Germany, which specialises in diversity and expatriation.

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

Firms and diversity

The ‘firms’ part of the report looked at the state of diversity management generally and diversity management practices specifically targeted at female employees in the relocation and moving industry. It examined availability of work-family support practices that facilitate good compatibility between work and family obligations. In addition, it looked at links between these diversity management efforts and work-family support practices and organisational performance and voluntary turnover.

Diversity management engagement

What degree did the respondent’s organisation engage in diversity management (1= very low, 7 = very high):

Key finding: Most Affiliates are engaged in diversity management to a fairly high extent. However, about 25 per cent of organisations report relatively low or no engagement in diversity management. This warrants further attention and room for improvement in the future.

Engagement in diversity management with a gender focus

How strongly did the respondent’s organisation engage in gender-focused diversity management practices? (1= very low, 7 = very high):

Key finding: Approximately 80 per cent of organisations pursue gender-focused diversity with a ‘high’ to ‘very high’ intensity. There is, therefore, some divergence between general diversity management and gender-focused efforts directed at females across organisations.

Availability of work-family support practices

Which work-family support practices do respondents have available
to them?

Key finding: Flexible working hours are the most frequently implemented measure, while onsite childcare or resources/referral for elderly or child care are an exception. There were an average of 5.3 measures available to employees in the organisations surveyed.

Firms survey: conclusion

The majority of organisations surveyed seem to be making efforts towards developing diversity within their businesses, although – given the increased awareness of the benefits of workplace diversity – there is still a surprising level (almost a quarter) engaging at a low level.

The report found that there was a correlation between strong engagement in diversity management, higher organisational performance and low voluntary staff turnover.

We believe that these findings are valuable, as they provide a first, tentative insight into the state of diversity management in the relocation and moving industry. Further, we hope that the study increases the awareness of diversity management being a critical element of HR that holds the power to harness the potential of a diverse workforce. 

Employees and diversity

The ‘employees’ section of the report set out to measure attitudes of individuals within the moving and relocation industry, including job satisfaction.

It also wanted to gauge their opinions about their organisation’s openness to diversity and equality, and find out about tensions between work and family duties.

In addition, it looked at whether individuals from various demographic backgrounds – such as traditionally privileged and underprivileged social groups – experience their workplace differently. The study focused on three ‘workplace attitudes’: job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and organisational identification on the following scale (1= very low job satisfaction, 7 = very high job satisfaction).

OB SATISFACTION – DISTRIBUTION (%)
TURNOVER INTENTIONS – DISTRIBUTION (%)
ORGANISATIONAL IDENTIFICATION – DISTRIBUTION (%)

These three tables imply that employees in the sample are generally satisfied with their jobs, hold only low to medium turnover intentions, and identify strongly with their organisation.

WORKPLACE OPENNESS TOWARDS DIVERSITY –
DISTRIBUTION (%)
STATUS EQUALITY – DISTRIBUTION (%)
TENSION BETWEEN WORK AND FAMILY – DISTRIBUTION (%)

Individuals were also asked about their workplace’s attitude towards diversity and equality – and if there were any tensions between work and family life. 

These tables show that respondents generally perceive their workplaces to be welcoming towards diversity and that equality appears to be present in most organisations. There appears to be a high potential for tension between work and family, with 50 per cent of respondents reporting medium tensions or higher.

Employees survey: conclusion

According to the study, employees in the moving and relocation industry appear to be satisfied with their jobs, have little or no intention of changing job, and identify strongly with their companies. Also, from their point of view, their workplaces are supportive of diversity, with relatively low concern about inequality. However, organisations should look at making improvements to ensure there is a better compatibility between work and family life.

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