If You Were Not Aware of Juneteenth Until Recently, You’re Not Alone

Results of WorldatWork Juneteenth Awareness & Diversity Survey Released

June 18, 2020

June 18, 2020 (Scottsdale, AZ) –  Fifty-four percent of respondents conveyed they were not aware of the holiday Juneteenth (June 19) prior to participating in the WorldatWork Juneteenth Awareness & Diversity Survey, which was fielded June 15 – 17, 2020. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Today, Juneteenth honors African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. (Journalists: for a copy of the survey, please contact judy@companyb-ny.com.)

Respondents were invited to participate in the survey via a pop-up on the WorldatWork website. A total of 204 responses were collected.

Other Key Findings:

  • 12 percent of respondents work for organizations that will give employees paid time off to observe Juneteenth.
  • 49 percent of respondents report a moderate to major increase in diversity prioritization as a result of recent events.
  • The top three actions organizations are taking as a result of recent events are making internal facing statements about diversity/racism (23%); making public facing statements about diversity/racism (15%); creating a forum for open discussion about diversity/racism (11%).
  • 8 percent of organizations indicated they are not taking action as a result of recent events.

“Juneteenth is recognized by 47 states but overlooked by most people outside the black community. Yet, June 19th has enormous importance for the U.S. and our continued progress to work for liberty and justice for all. WorldatWork is proud to have Juneteenth among its holidays and I sincerely hope others will follow suit and step up their efforts to address the racial inequalities in the workplace,” said Scott Cawood, WorldatWork’s President and CEO. “And we should never take our eyes off the goal and stay committed to the hard work needed for true equity, in the workplace and throughout society. This survey indicates only a starting point.”


About WorldatWork®

WorldatWork is the leading nonprofit professional association in compensation and Total Rewards. We serve those who design and deliver total rewards programs to cultivate engaged, effective workforces that power thriving organizations. We accomplish this through education and certification; idea exchange; knowledge creation; information sharing; research; advocacy; and affiliation and networking. Founded in the United States in 1955, today WorldatWork serves Total Rewards professionals throughout the world working in organizations of all sizes and structures.

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