5 trends on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in business and communications for 2024

15 Jan 2024

Corporate social responsibility and labor wellbeing are having an increasingly greater impact on economic activity. In fact, 90% of the consumer population in Spain believes that diversity and inclusion are important issues, while 43% have changed their purchasing habits to align themselves with these values, according to a recent study by Integral Ad Science. On the other hand, six out of seven employees expect to receive some kind of support from their company, as concluded in the Employer Brand Report prepared by Randstad. 

All the data points in the same direction: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion criteria are increasing their presence at both the workplace and consumer level. This trend has led to talent retention, mental health care and the fight against burnout being the main challenges for companies in the coming year, according to DEI Channel. Knowing how to communicate advances in DEI boosts brand reputation, but not doing so impoverishes the corporate image and the impact of advertising campaigns; that is why it is essential to have a good understanding of the population’s demands. 


1. Talent retention 

Employee turnover is becoming an increasingly acute problem in the business sector. According to Randstad, one in three employees plans to change jobs in the next six months, up from 2022. The idea of keeping the same job for your whole life has disappeared because the population is constantly looking for new challenges, greater flexibility and better working conditions. That’s why in 2024, companies will devote more effort to retaining their staff by creating inclusive environments that allow staff to increase their engagement and sense of belonging to the brand. 


2. Mental health care

52% of the millennial and Generation Z population criticize that the increased media attention to mental health does not have an impact on a significant improvement in the situation of employed people, according to the Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z & Millennial Survey report. In addition, in Spain, sick leave due to mental disorders has doubled since 2016 and is already the third longest type of sick leave. 

Younger generations are leading this paradigm shift to ask management teams to think about their mental health, and the data proves that this generates a benefit for both productivity and the well-being of the workforce. Companies need to define programs to promote mental health care, always within their capabilities and paying special attention to seasonality, lack of flexibility, pressure, lack of support or work organization. 


3. Reduction of labor burnout

Spain is the sixth country with the highest rate of “burnout syndrome”, as 70% of the Spanish population has suffered burnout in the workplace during 2023, according to the Global Workforce of the Future 2023 survey conducted by The Adecco Group. 

Forty-seven percent of the people surveyed claim to suffer from work fatigue due to an excessive workload, 44% attribute this problem to an overload of responsibilities following the departure or dismissal of a team member, and another 44% point to a lack of support from the management team. Therefore, by 2024 it will be a priority to tackle this problem by guaranteeing a healthy working environment, a realistic distribution of tasks and rest for the workforce, as only 58% of the Spanish population take all their assigned vacations, while 79% say they do not feel supported by their company when it comes to taking them. 


4. Increased representation of diversity in marketing

Advertising has always been an industry criticized for its lack of social representation. In fact, the DEI Global Census estimates that only 16% of women think they are accurately portrayed in marketing. Recent research by Kantar points to the same problem, concluding that only 1% of ads globally feature people with disabilities, a percentage that rises to 33% for people of different ethnicity or skin color. 

However, during the last few years the situation is improving, as half of the population considers that there has been an evolution towards diversity in advertisements, and this is the line to work on in 2024. Incorporating DEI in corporate and advertising communication is as important as doing so in the daily work of the company, since advertisements work as a reflection of society and are the perfect showcase to show referents to the new generations. 


5. Strengthening inclusive communication

In recent years, inclusive language has been and will continue to be at the center of the media debate. It is a way of communicating that uses words and expressions that do not discriminate or exclude any person or group. This language, which goes beyond brand reputation by affecting all channels and media, seeks to ensure the equal participation of all people, regardless of their ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other characteristic that may make them feel excluded. In this way, inclusive communication involves the entire population in its messages, creates a more diverse and egalitarian environment, encourages people to feel valued, and improves problem solving. 

According to Paradigm, 70% of companies offer at least one type of DEI training, but only 35% measure the impact of this learning. By 2024, these percentages will increase and many of these trainings will be focused on developing compact inclusive communication that avoids unconscious bias. They will also continue to incorporate more and better inclusion strategies that provide optimal working conditions and ensure maximum productivity. 



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