Image shows the Irish Centre for Diversity logo along with a series of icons to represent different industry sectors and brightly-coloured bar graphs.

Data around current D&I experiences of workers in Ireland

Organisations can confidently benchmark performance at a national and sector level

First-of-a-kind Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) benchmarking for the Irish market has been launched by the Irish Centre for Diversity (ICFD).  It draws from the most comprehensive research into D&I in the Irish market, involving almost 100 organisations that employ 60,000+ people across both the public and private sectors. Organisations will now be able to compare their D&I performance both at a national level, and against those in similar areas such as Public Sector, Professional Services, Construction and Engineering, Insurance and Finance.


Our data establishes a national average measure for the diversity and inclusivity of workplaces in Ireland.  The findings detail how fairly and respectfully workers in Ireland feel they are treated, and the extent to which workers feel their organisations promote fairness and equal opportunity. It also explores perceptions of fairness and equality for diverse groups – such as people with disabilities and those from a different ethnicity or race. The data provides organisations with insights across areas such as leadership, management, governance, policies, recruitment practices, communications and engagement.


Some Key Findings

  • Data reveals 90% of workers in Ireland report feeling respected and valued by their immediate colleagues day-to-day.
  • However, 2 out of 5 workers do not feel their organisation advances equality of opportunity and just half (51%) of employees believe their organisation is doing enough for diverse groups.
  • In addition, a third (33%) of workers in Ireland do not feel their organisations treat everyone fairly.
  • When it comes to diversity, over two thirds (69%) of workers report that diversity among non-management colleagues is reflective of society, however there is still a journey to travel when ascending the management ladder. 62% of workers report that while junior managers reflect an accurate picture of diversity, this drops to 51% for senior management and falls further to 41% at Board level in Ireland, indicating a significant disparity when moving up the management hierarchy.


Our robust benchmarks enable organisations to measure and assess their D&I performance against the our national workplace average in Ireland, and also at sector level. For organisations mandated to report on D&I as part of regulatory obligations, using benchmarks offers an additional valuable avenue for tracking and assessing impact.


Speaking about the announcement, Caroline Cummins, Managing Director – Irish Centre for Diversity said:


Having such comprehensive and robust data on workplace D&I culture in Ireland allows us to introduce meaningful D&I benchmarks to the Irish market.  Our data provides a clear picture of the lived experiences of people in workplaces across Ireland. Being able to compare and chart progress is a big enabler for employers seeking to build great workplace environments and retain talent.


“Benchmarks give employers additional context to prioritise goals and allocate resources more effectively.  Really importantly, for larger enterprises, integrating benchmarked comparisons will enhance their ability to monitor and report on culture, aligning with regulatory requirements.”


“It is something that the organisations we work with have been looking for, and we are thrilled to offer this to the Irish market.  It enables employers to look beyond themselves and industry norms, to set wider goals on the path to becoming D&I leaders raising the bar even further – with benefits to everyone.


The most forward-thinking and sustainable organisations have D&I firmly on the agenda as a business priority – not only for the legal compliance, or the competitive advantage it brings, but because it is simply the right thing to do. There are three things that set dedicated organisations apart – insights, education, and leadership commitment.  Extensive research identifies D&I as being a key differentiator for better outcomes – with direct links to innovation, retention, productivity, engagement, reputation and more.


“As a one-stop-shop, the Irish Centre for Diversity supports hundreds of employers in Ireland to foster and build work environments where everyone shares a sense of belonging and is supported to thrive.  We collaborate with public and private sector organisations of all sizes, from startups, SMEs and larger concerns across Ireland.


“Where employers get the information and right support, we see them taking action and realistic steps for positive change.”


Additional National Baseline D&I Findings:

  • 16% of workers in Ireland call on employers to do more to support people from a different race and ethnicity and 18% of workers seek more support for those with disabilities.
  • Accessibility is a key concern, and 40% of workers want employers to take more action to ensure buildings, materials and facilities cater to people’s diverse needs. In addition to disability access, this data considers accessibility needs and accommodations for different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, ages, languages and religions – such as designated quiet spaces for prayer, multilingual content, and more.
  • With education playing a pivotal role in fostering inclusion it’s encouraging that almost two thirds (63%) of workers of Ireland report having had some level of D&I training in the previous 12 months. However, there’s room for improvement as fewer than half were asked about the impact of this training, and a significant 48% remain unaware of their Unconscious Bias.






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