Employers across the world should prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion efforts if they want to maximize their chances of recruiting the youngest generation of workers.

While most baby-boomers don’t consider a company’s focus on DEI when applying to jobs and accepting offers, almost three-quarters of Gen Z workers want their employer to consider it a priority, according to a new global study by consultancy Ernst & Young LLP published Wednesday. The report defined Gen Z as adults aged between 18 and 26 years old. 

The study, which surveyed 5,000 adults across the U.S., U.K., Germany, Singapore and India, highlights the tension between the need for companies to make themselves attractive to young workers while operating under increasingly challenging economic and political climates. That’s particularly the case in the U.S., where some investors this year have piled pressure on employers to focus on worker wellbeing and labor rights—but a landmark Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action in June has pushed companies to question whether their diversity initiatives could also put them in the firing line for legal action.

Even before the high court’s decision, rounds of job cuts across the tech industry showed how the layoffs hit diversity and inclusion departments particularly hard, with DEI professionals losing their jobs at companies including  Amazon.com Inc., Meta Platforms Inc., and Twitter Inc..

The survey highlighted some of the broader concerns when it comes to organizational cultures; 94% of employees said that there was some level of inequity within their workplace amid concerns over equitable pay, performance evaluation and work assignments.

There’s also increasing pressure from employee expectations about flexible working, with 45% of respondents saying policies that offered autonomy over working hours and location were their top reason for instilling DE&I in their own teams. Such flexibility can also add to employees’ sense of belonging, the report said, along with a sense they can be open about their working needs and preferences as working from home practices policies shift, the report said.

“While it's encouraging that workers continue to feel an increased sense of belonging at work, it's clear that a disconnect has emerged with many workers globally, of all diversity dimensions, feeling excluded, actively self-editing or hiding certain dimensions of who they are at work,” said Karyn Twaronite,  global vice chair of diversity, equity and inclusiveness for EY. “Amidst today’s political and economic backdrop, DE&I remains a key workplace expectation across all generations and a competitive advantage.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.