Netherlands is home to the World’s most inclusive workplaces

Globally, progress has stalled on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
24 November 2022

The Netherlands has replaced Canada as home to the world’s most diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces, according to Kantar’s Inclusion Index 2022. The new benchmarking study measures progress in developing inclusive and diverse workplaces on a global scale. 

Personal services – such as hairdressing and beauty salons – is the most inclusive industry, followed by the non-profit sector and professional services. More broadly, progress on building diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces has stalled with some countries, such as Canada, the USA and Italy actually, going backwards.

Based on quantitative findings from almost 13,000 employees across 13 countries and 24 industries, the Inclusion Index ranks the most inclusive countries and industries, by measuring employees’ lived experiences, evaluating a sense of belonging and the presence of discrimination and negative behaviour. Other findings from this year’s study include:  

- Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Spain and Canada make up the top five countries with the most inclusive corporate workplaces. 
- Mexico and Australia show the most amount of growth from 2019, while US, UK, ITA show a significant drop.
- There is a growing appetite for companies to go beyond cultural days and logo change. Employees (46%) want their organisations to do more to drive systemic change in DEI 
- Failure to implement meaningful change is having significant impact on recruitment and retention with 1 in 4 likely to leave their organisation due to the lack of inclusion.
- The Entertainment industry, together with Agriculture and Fishing are the least inclusive as measured by employees.

A country-level view
The study reveals that despite its increasing visibility in business’ agenda, progress in DEI has stalled. The global index score of 55 is unchanged compared to 2020. Eight of the twelve markets have seen a decrease in their Inclusion Index score between 2019 and 2022. Conversely, Mexico (+15%) and Australia (+7%) have showed the biggest growth in DEI progress during the last three years.

Figure 1. Inclusion score at country level


DEI at an Industry Level
Industries are at different stages in their inclusion journey, Personal services (hairdressers, beauty etc), professional services (legal, accountancy etc), and Non-for-profit demonstrate leading efforts to drive inclusion. Whilst appearing in the bottom half of the ranking, Financial service, IT and Advertising companies are most actively taking steps to be more inclusive. Companies working in Marketing, Fashion, IT, Hospitality, Security, Entertainment, Media, Sport, Publishing and Agriculture still have a long way to go to move the needle. 

Table 1. Industry Ranking 2022


Hard Truths about modern workplace 
Minority groups face poorer experience in the workplace, driven by a lack of sense of belonging, experience of discrimination and the presence of negative behaviours:

1 in 2 respondents who identify as disabled* feel that opportunities to progress had been restricted by senior colleagues.
1 in 4 respondents from an ethnic minority report having been made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace.
Over a third of respondents (33%) who identify as LGBTQ+ report having been bullied and undermined at work.
Almost half of women (49%) in our study report observing colleagues taking sole credit for shared efforts.
* Kantar identifies disabled as having a physical or mental condition that limits daily life.

Global Engagement Gap
A quarter of respondents globally are likely, or highly likely, to leave their company based on lack of inclusion and/or discrimination experienced - this rises to over a third (34%) for respondents under 35 and 39% for those identifying as LGBTQ+. And companies are responding. 
Current efforts made to push DEI forward globally and across industries are being noticed - 71% of respondents believe their company is actively taking steps to be more diverse and inclusive. Almost half (46%) of respondents agree that they have personally benefitted from DEI initiatives in their organisation. Similarly, 46% of respondents agree that their organisations need to do more to drive DEI forward. For example, employees want to see a stronger focus on driving systemic change.

Commenting on this year’s Index, Nadach Musungu, Inclusion Lead at Kantar, said: “The data shows that we’re not seeing the anticipated growth on inclusion, but that is not to say DEI has lost its importance in the workplace. Rather, employees' expectations on DEI are shifting, what was good in 2019 no longer is enough in 2022. Employees are increasingly demanding for systemic change and tangible action from companies that claim to be serious about DEI. In the midst of the great resignation, and fight for the best talent, companies cannot fail to act, as this may result in employees voting with their feet.”

The full report can be found at this link Inclusion Index Report (