Offensive comments in the workplace — including those about gender, race, sexual orientation, and religion — are down in New Jersey since 2017, according to the fourth annual New Jersey State of Diversity Survey, commissioned by Taft Communications and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

Taft has polled New Jerseyans since 2016 to gain insights into the day-to-day reality of diversity in the state and to probe public attitudes about it. The latest poll, developed in conjunction with NJBIA and conducted by the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll, was in the field from May 29 to June 4 and included 541 randomly selected New Jersey workers.

About 70 percent of workers told pollsters they never overhear offensive comments about women and gender at work, up from 66 percent in 2017. A similar number (67 percent) said they never heard racially based offensive comments, up from 53 percent the year before. More people also reported having received diversity training, (47 percent vs. 28 percent in 2016) and working alongside someone of a different race or ethnicity (89 percent versus 83 percent in 2016.)

“Our fourth consecutive New Jersey State of Diversity survey shows some very positive trends around workplace inclusion,” said Taft President Ted Deutsch. “Our polling aims to raise awareness about a number of these sensitive issues so that employers and employees can work together to keep striving toward less bias and more equality.”

“One of New Jersey’s strengths is its diverse workforce,” said NJBIA President & CEO Michele N. Siekerka. “The survey results underscore the great strides New Jersey employers have made in creating workplaces that are open and inclusive. In fact, there is not a day that goes by when I don’t talk to a business leader who is engaged in diversity and inclusion work in some manner, from formal training to informal roundtables. We’re also seeing a rise in company Employer Resource/Support Groups. Given the wide diversity of our state and workforce, some of these statistics are very encouraging to see.”

While overall survey respondents agree that offensive remarks in the workplace are on the decline, women are almost 10 percent more likely than men to say that they “never” hear offensive comments at work when it relates to gender, race, sexual orientation, and religion.

The full survey is online at

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