Editor’s note: Kate Economou is director of research at market research software company Remesh, New York. 

Overwhelmingly, there is a belief that diversity in all its forms (from race or ethnicity to work experience) impacts the bottom line and promotes employee engagement. A recent online focus group from Remesh asked American professionals how they perceive diversity and inclusion programs at their organization. The results show that now more than ever employees believe diversity and inclusion are important not only for themselves, but also for their coworkers. 

One of the initial findings from this study that stood out is the belief in having diverse points of view to influence an organization’s bottom line, even during a pandemic or recession. This comes as no surprise, since this kind of creative and collaborative environment is closely linked to innovation.

The potential benefits of implementing diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs vary, according to respondents, from the generation of new ideas to better decision-making as a result of a variety of ideas. Seventy-nine percent of professionals with 20 years of experience or more noted, “there is a better workflow when people feel equality is at play” in the workplace. 

Across organizations of all sizes, 71% of employees feel that highly effective D&I programs ultimately lead to a better business understanding of consumers. 

Despite the clear benefits of D&I programs to organizations, only 6% of companies have formal training or programming related to diversity and inclusion. 

I believe this may be because organizations don’t see the financial benefit of D&I programs, or because employee feedback has not yet reached decision-makers – a communication gap that is becoming increasingly more common, especially as organizations scramble to transform into fully-remote workplaces.

The study brought up two notable points regar...