5 Key Takeaways from Double Forte’s 2021 DE&I Survey

By Mollie Leal

Since 2020, DE&I or DEIJ initiatives have become a non-negotiable, essential addition to business practices. These terms call for us to work towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, as well as pursue justice for those harmed by systems of oppression in our society. 

At Double Forte, we’re committed to consistently learning and working to create authentic change, to ensure we offer the highest quality service to our clients by diversifying our staff and client base to reflect the communities we live in and serve. We want to be able to authentically say that Double Forte is a model for active inclusion, equity and opportunity for strategic communication and public relations professionals in the U.S. 

To ensure Double Forte continues to grow and progress in these important areas, the company conducts an annual survey of its employees to gather qualitative and quantitative feedback on areas of success and growth. Below are 5 key lessons from our 2021 survey (which also informed our POV document): 

Retaining Gen Z Employees 

According to our survey, between 2020-2021, Double Forte saw a 10% growth in the number of employees between the ages of 21-28 years old; now making up 40% of the company population. It’s no secret that Gen Z’ers are bringing a fresh perspective to the way we work and, according to Forbes, data shows that by 2025, Gen-Z workers will make up 27% of the workforce. This generation is extremely values-driven, expecting its workplace to align with their personal morals. Now, more than ever, it’s important to continue authentic DE&I work to retain these creative, empathetic employees.  

Create Room For Growth 

As the U.S. workplace culture and economy continue to shift due to the repercussions of the pandemic, it’s up to companies to nurture ways to support growth and development in the workplace for its employees. Findings from our survey found that the number of Double Forte employees holding Senior Leadership positions grew from 25% to 32% between 2020 and 2021. Additionally, those with entry level to mid-level positions increased from 35% in 2020 to 40% in 2021. As 2022 continues to challenge the workforce in new ways, it’s essential to support employee growth by creating personalized plans and identifying development opportunities. 

Create Safe Spaces For Employees to be Their Authentic Self

Creating a culture of sharing and helping workers feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable at work has shown to decrease turnover rate according to a story by Fast Company. In 2021, almost 85% of Double Forte employees said they feel they can be their authentic self at work. We are continuing to work towards empowering all of our employees to be their most authentic selves, not just for the benefit of the company, but to foster happier, healthier team members. 

Safe Spaces to Speak Up 

In addition to supporting employee authenticity, we want to create safe spaces for employees to advocate for themselves and share contrary opinions without fear. In 2021, our survey found a 10% increase in Double Forte employees who believed they could voice a contrary opinion without fear of negative consequences (70% of employees agreed). In 2022, Double Forte is hosting a Safe Spaces workshop led by CEPHER Consulting to build employee’s tools for facilitating these conversations. Training needs to be consistent and ongoing to support change. 

Transparency is Key 

After appointing a DE&I Task Force at Double Forte in 2020, we have seen a large increase in employees who feel leadership and the task force make information about how diverse the company is easily available. Employees who agreed with the statement jumped to 70% in 2021, compared to 55% in 2020. As Nonprofit HR reported, transparency is the cornerstone of trust, and integrating DEI with transparency means bringing a wide range of identities and voices to the table to share how decisions that impact the workforce are being made. We are working to ensure our employees are being valued, seen and heard.

You can learn more about our DE&I efforts on the Double Forte website.