Positive Mental Health Increasingly Part Of Inclusion Agenda

  • Release Date: 05/12/2018
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Pictured: Mark Redmond, Chief Executive, American Chamber of Commerce, Sinead Gogan, Fidelity Investments, Gareth Lambe, Facebook Ireland.

A new survey by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland has found that initiatives that support positive mental health in the workplace are increasingly part of the diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda of US companies based in Ireland. The American Chamber survey, which examined leader’s perceptions of diversity and inclusion, shows that member companies are prioritising mental health, with almost seven in ten companies (65%) reporting that they have programmes in place to support employee mental wellbeing. 

The results were launched at an event in Fidelity Investments, Citywest in a new initiative bringing together companies across the Greater Dublin Area to work on inclusion issues.
 
The survey found that companies have embedded Diversity and Inclusion into their objectives, policies and procedures, particularly in relation to hiring practices, with 71% of members reporting that their organisation has D&I policies and practices in place for hiring.
 
Race, gender and sexual orientation are among other D&I indicators performing strongly, with 97% respondents comfortable or very comfortable (73% very comfortable) with diversity aspects around race/nationality, 93% of respondents comfortable or very comfortable (71% very comfortable) with gender balance while 91% are comfortable or very comfortable (62% very comfortable) with sexual orientation. These results mirror a public poll conducted by iReach on behalf of the American Chamber earlier this year which found that 55 per cent of the Irish public see US companies as more inclusive environments than other Irish workplaces.  However, the AmCham survey has found that just over one in two leaders (53%) believe they are personally equipped to be a champion for Diversity and Inclusion issues. The results also found lower levels of comfort around the ability to deal with differently-abled issues in the workplace.
 
Chief Executive of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, Mr. Mark Redmond, said, “Ireland has become a global leader on self-expression and acceptance. What these results show is that great work is being done around diversity, including increasing visibility within organisations of groups – particularly on gender, race and sexual orientation. Many in particular, are focussed on increasing mental health awareness.
 
But the focus must now turn to other areas of inclusion. Just under half the companies surveyed have specific programmes, such as induction training and employee resource groups, to support D&I. We believe these numbers should increase. The survey also shows that more training programmes are required to ensure that our leaders have the confidence and practical know-how to ensure that the Diversity and Inclusion agenda continues to be prioritised.
 
Examining wider trends outside of the diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda, the AmCham survey found that US companies in Ireland are continuing to expand at a rapid pace amid Ireland’s growing economy, with almost eight in ten respondents reporting that their company has increased their number of employees in the past 12 months. In addition, almost half of US companies based here have at least 16 positions currently vacant.

Survey Results