By Ben Beresford, Consultant
At In Diverse Company, we are embarking on a critical exploration of Disclosure Rates and championing the cause of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (ED&I).
Disclosure is when employees provide their employers with personal information relevant to measuring ED&I. Disclosure rates indicate the extent to which employees are prepared to provide this personal information and serve as a reliable indicator of the inclusivity of a workplace. High disclosure rates frequently correlate with a work climate that fosters a sense of value, respect, and inclusion for employees, regardless of their background.
Studies indicate that the act of revealing personal information, especially among employees with chronic illnesses or specific needs for assistance, is strongly connected to the accessibility of workplace support and accommodations. Therefore, cultivating a working environment that promotes and welcomes disclosures like this can result in a more friendly and inclusive work atmosphere, which is advantageous for both people and the company. Furthermore, higher disclosure rates foster enhanced collaboration throughout all levels of the company.
What stops workers from disclosure? Older workers, for instance, may be hesitant to reveal personal needs that could affect their job retention due to apprehensions about age discrimination and other prejudices. Research reveals that older employees may hesitate to share information unless absolutely essential, as they fear being seen as less productive or resistant to acquiring new skills.
Another factor that can hinder Disclosure Rates is a lack of organisational trust. Employees with little to no trust in their employer are much less likely to disclose personal information. This is usually as a result of the organisations’ General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) practices such as potential previous cases of misuse. If an employee fears for the privacy of their personal information, why would they disclose it, especially if it’s sensitive, e.g., health conditions/sexual orientation?
Lastly, employees who feel significant amounts of stigma linked to their personal information may exhibit less willingness to provide it to their employers or co-workers. For instance, a worker who experiences a mental health issue can refrain from revelling it because to the apprehension of being stigmatised as fragile, unreliable, or inadequate.
All these factors emphasise the necessity of adopting a new, comprehensive approach that considers the varied requirements and perspectives of different age cohorts in the professional environment. On top of that, it offers supporting evidence for the intersectionality of disclosure rates with other significant matters related to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The objectives of In Diverse Company’s research on Disclosure Rates are wide-ranging and influenced by recent scholarly discoveries. We hope to go beyond statistical analysis and explore the core elements of workplace inclusivity by gaining a holistic understanding of the environments in which diverse individuals are employed to enhance these in future.
Our research aims to understand the present rates better, investigate the elements that impact them, and devise organisational strategies to increase disclosure rates and improve trust between employees and employers. Part of this is a survey, which has been built on a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of disclosure decisions in the workplace, culminating from a literature review of the topic. From this we will develop a toolkit for employees and organisations.
By exploiting the data from our survey, we can begin to design and develop new frameworks to encourage increased disclosure rates. The main objective is to promote workplace inclusion, guaranteeing that all employees feel at ease and secure when revealing their personal information. We aim to establish a new industry standards for Disclosure Rates and inclusion, serving as an example for other companies while positively impacting the organisation’s culture and performance. Overall, the aim is to develop unprecedented levels of trust and transparency with all stakeholders, fostering accurate, honest disclosures. Over time, we hope this will enhance an organisation’s reputation as a responsible, ethical employer.
In conclusion disclosure plays a vital role in promoting a work climate that is both inclusive and transparent is also essential and therefore measuring disclosure rates is a crucial metric to measure.
We urge readers to not just participate in the survey but actively participate in broader discussions around disclosure rates and inclusivity. The survey aims to explore the complexities of Disclosure Rates, collecting data that will enable us to gain additional insight into the variables that impact these rates in various businesses and cultural situations. We hope our acquired insights will play a crucial role in determining the strategies and policies companies can implement to enhance their Disclosure Rates and, as a result, their overall inclusivity. Finally, we invite readers, companies, and individuals to reflect on the significance of Disclosure Rates within their own contexts.
Every response to the survey is a valuable contribution towards building workplaces that respect, value, and celebrate diversity in all its forms.