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Awareness of diversity and inclusion issues is growing, says new global study of market research sector

MEDIA RELEASE: February 1 2022: New research from the Global Research Business Network (GBRN) has underlined the growing importance of diversity and inclusion within the market research sector.

In a sign of progress, the organisation’s Diversity, Inclusivity and Equality survey, launched today, reveals that over twice as many market researchers believe their organisation is making concerted efforts on inclusion matters than don’t, as the sector continues its push for greater representation.

To help benchmark responses, the survey draws comparisons with the general population of each of the countries surveyed – in many cases favourably.  Whereas nationally 40% of employees have considered leaving their current organisation due to concerns over diversity and inclusion, that figure fell to 20% for market research professionals. 

However, the research also shines a light on areas for improvement.  Market researchers are 30% more likely than the general public to believe that everyone does not have equal opportunities within their sector and over four in ten participants say their leadership team is not diverse enough, almost double the proportion of the general population.  Half of those surveyed report personal experience with direct discrimination in the workplace. 

Launched in Q4 2022 by GRBN alongside its association and corporate partners, the research looks into workplace culture and people’s personal experience with, and witnessing of, discrimination.  The aim of the research is to provide leaders of national associations and businesses in the global research and insight sector with benchmarking data on diversity, equality and inclusivity. The initial research, which is based upon the approach used by MRS, the UK’s professional, trade and regulatory body for research, insight and analytics, for its 2020 report Diversity, Inclusion and Equality in the Market Research Sector has been conducted in ten countries.

The full Global, Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Survey can be downloaded here, and additional reports will be added to the portal over the coming weeks.

Andrew Cannon is presenting the results to Research Society members in a webinar on 15 February, 2022. The session will focus on the Australian results and the comparison between the research sector and the general population. Register for this session here.

Andrew Cannon, Executive Director at the Global Research Business Network, comments: “Research projects like this are an important benchmark for the sector’s diversity and inclusion efforts, identifying where we are seeing progress and where we need to be stronger.  That one in five researchers have stress or anxiety, in particular stood out to me, and it’s clear that more is needed from associations and businesses around the world to support staff with their mental health and wellness.”

Debrah Harding, Founding Association Partner and Chair of the Global Research Business Network, comments: “The importance of having a diverse employee-base, particularly for a sector like ours which relies on public participation, simply cannot be overstated.  Diversity in market research is essential in ensuring a representative range of responses to our work and ultimately, therefore, more effective insights.  While many of the findings from this research were positive, I hope to see the sector push on from it.  GRBN will continue to track the research sector’s progress with future waves of this vital global research.”

Website: Global Research Business Network (GRBN)

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The Research Society is linked globally to 45 associations through its partnership with the Global Research Business Network (GRBN) and the Asia Pacific Research Committee (APRC)Click here to read about the TRS global network.

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The Research Society is the peak body for research, insights and analytics professionals in Australia. It has a diverse membership of individuals at all levels of experience and seniority within agencies, consultancies, client-side organisations, the non-profit and government sectors, support services as well as institutions and the academic community. As well as over 2,000 individual members, the Research Society has 125+ company and client partners, with the number continuing to grow. The Research Society research professionals and company partners commit to and are regulated by the Research Society Code of Professional Behaviour.