Over the past few years, we have been hearing varying narratives on whether people feel that it has become easier or harder to talk about differences in the workplace today. Given that the foundation of creating inclusive workplaces is the ability to talk about differences, we ran a quick “temperature check” survey in February–March of 2016 to capture people’s general perceptions of how it feels to talk about differences today, in comparison to how it felt 10 years ago in 2006. It’s important to note that we did not design this “pulse survey” to assess whether it was actually easier or harder for people to talk about differences in their workplace(s) but whether people felt that it was easier or harder to talk about differences in their workplace(s). Because talking about differences is a necessary precursor to interacting, working and leading across differences, we want to assist workplaces in increasing comfort around and action towards this type of dialogue.
This survey was sent out to 1800 randomly selected individuals inorganizations that were clients of Nextions anytime between 2006 and 2016; the workplaces included professional service firms, corporations, educational institutions, membership organizations, not-for-profit organizations and government entities. Although it would have been useful to ensure solid samples from this vast variety of workplaces, we prioritized keeping the survey design simple to ensure for significant representation of the differences we asked about in the survey.