When companies discuss diversity and inclusion, the focus is generally on underrepresented racial groups, women and LGBTQ employees. With today's political and economic environment as the backdrop, professional services firm Ernst & Young set out to see how majority groups, particularly men, feel at work.
"Men have been somewhat left out of the conversation," Ernst & Young's global diversity and inclusiveness officer Karyn Twaronite tells CNBC Make It. "When you feel excluded, you feel unheard."
The study, which included a sample size of more than 1,000 Americans who are employed full-time, found that nearly one-third of all men have felt personally excluded at work. Additionally, over one-third of those surveyed believe the increased focus on diversity in the workplace has overlooked white men.
Out of the respondents who think the focus on diversity in the workplace has overlooked white men, 43 percent are men compared to 26 percent women.
The top five reasons cited for white men being overlooked, according to the study, include:
- The majority (62 percent) feel they are being overlooked for promotion and advancement opportunities
- Almost half (49 percent) believe they are being excluded from diversity programs and initiatives
- Over one-quarter (26 percent) say white men are not included in mentorship or training programs
- Another 26 percent say they do not feel comfortable using benefits, i.e. paternity leave
- And 20 percent say they do not trust management
The first reason cited may come as a surprise for many, considering that white men have long held most senior positions at companies. Twaronite says that it may be that these men feel some animosity toward diversity and inclusion efforts at the office.
"Work isn't always a walk in the park for men," she says. The diversity and inclusion officer explains that when a population is accustomed to getting 80 percent of promotions and is now getting about 70 percent, they may feel that they're at a disadvantage or being pushed aside.