Is your industry keeping up with leadership development and diversity, equity and inclusion?

  • Paul Eccher

    Paul Eccher

 
 
Updated 5/19/2022 8:53 AM

When it comes to employee leadership development (LD), you might be surprised to learn that the availability and delivery of LD training programs are far from equal.

For our 2022 Vaya Vision survey -- which asked more than 1,000 professionals about issues surrounding LD and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) -- we broke down the results into four leading industries: information technology, health care, professional services (B2B consulting firms), and banking/finance.

 

IT trumps all industries with a 61% participation rate in LD training. Not surprisingly, the health care industry lags, with only 40% of health care workers participating in LD programs. Across the board, health-care workers rated their work benefits lower than any other industry.

Let's look at how these four industries compare in terms of LD, equality, perceived fairness, diversity, and employee engagement.

Health care

Hit by wave after wave of COVID-19 and now facing severe staffing shortages, health-care employees are really feeling the impact.

• Employees in health care feel significantly less engaged and connected to their work compared to other industries. Only 31% feel engaged, compared to 38% in finance, 39% in IT and 42% in professional services.

• Only about a quarter of health-care employees believe their organization has fair practices around pay, promotions and LD. In other industries, the average is about 40%.

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• Health-care employees rate their organizations lower than any other industry on diverse representation.

• 30% of employees report having access to training and development, significantly lower than those in other industries like finance (38%), professional services (43%) and IT (44%).

IT

The IT industry has also struggled with its fair share of stress during the pandemic, as these professionals not only switched to remote work but were forced to accelerate their digital transformation in other areas like customer experience and service.

• As a result, 27% of employees in IT more strongly believe the pandemic has harmed their development -- more than any other industry. This is especially acute compared to the 8% who believe the same in health care.

• They're also most likely to receive LD training and least likely to have to raise their hands and ask for it. Most are selected based on job performance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Professional services

With remote and now hybrid work rewriting the rules of the workplace, this industry has changed a lot. A few interesting notes:

• White men continue to feel a stronger sense of belonging than men of color across the board, but this is especially pronounced in professional services, where the difference is almost 20%.

• White males also believe their companies handle pay, promotions and LD opportunities more fairly and especially in professional services.

• Interestingly, white men in professional services are also the most likely to consider leaving their jobs in the next six months, fueling the Great Resignation.

Banking/finance

While the finance industry appears to embrace diversity more wholeheartedly than others, some discrepancies persist.

• At 64%, these establishments are most likely to have a DE&I program.

• Employees in finance, along with IT, have higher ratings of their companies' DE&I efforts.

• Those in finance generally get more methods of post-training support than most other industries, especially in coaching/mentoring, but the divide between white men and men of color in terms of support is more significant.

Some of the discrepancies between these industries make sense considering the impact the pandemic years have had on each, but others are due to lingering issues. Bringing your organization up to the LD and DE&I benchmarks of its own industry is critical to progress.

• Paul Eccher, Ph.D., is president and CEO of The Vaya Group in Warrenville.

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