CHICAGO: Nearly seven in 10 people (69%) are concerned about systemic racism and racial injustice in the U.S., an eight-point increase year-over-year, according to Edelman’s latest Trust Barometer report.
Concern was up across all demographics, including Black (+11), Hispanic (+15) and white (+8) respondents, all of which represented significant changes, the firm said.
The report, focused specifically on business and racial justice, revealed that people distrust all types of institutions to address racism, including non-governmental organizations, media and government. Business, a previously trusted sector, fell three points, compared with 2022’s findings.
While entertainment (+3) made a slight jump, Edelman found that no business industry is seen as doing well on tackling racism. Notably, financial services dropped four points.
There’s a disconnect between executives and employees on progress in the workplace, too. Executives are 42 points more likely than associates to say their organization is making meaningful progress on addressing racial inequities at work.
“What stood out to me most was the wakeup call [this report] gave business leaders," said Lisa Osborne Ross, Edelman's U.S. CEO, via email. "This was especially clear in the staggering disconnect between executives and employees when it comes to how they think their company is doing on racial justice."
It’s not all bad news. The survey found that 72% of all staffers trust their employers to do what is right when it comes to responding to systemic racism and racial injustice.
Edelman’s Business and Racial Justice report was conducted between April 4-12, polling 3,500 respondents in the U.S., including 500 people each from Black, Hispanic and Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander demographics, respectively.
Edelman’s revenue increased 12.8% in 2022 in terms of constant currency growth to almost $1.1 billion, including 13.8% U.S. growth to $703.4 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2023.
This story was updated with comment from Ross.