There are many benefits to having a diverse and inclusive workforce. It is important to note that having a diverse team is just the first step to committing to Diversity and Inclusion. Actively addressing and taking action towards inclusivity is where the real impact begins.
By presenting better opportunities for personal and professional growth, diverse teams feel included and in return perform better. Diverse teams are better positioned to bring new ideas to the table that drive market growth. There is a link between diversity and innovation revenue, which is why now more than ever, companies are actively committing to making progress in diversity in the workplace.
Conduct thorough research and kickoff the diversity effort internally. A formal work plan presentation proves that you are taking the issue seriously. You can update your work plan presentation in accordance to progress and present as needed. It is crucial for employees to see and hear their workforce leaders speak openly about solutions on diversity issues.
Diversity needs to be integrated into the typical day-to-day operations of the organization. Make it the norm to mention diversity initiatives and results during routine meetings. Diversity is linked to performance improvement - the more diversity is discussed, the quicker an organization will reap collective benefits.
Discussing diversity in external forums proves commitment to a deeper understanding of the importance of diversity beyond the workplace. In return this enhances the organization’s reputation within the community, employees, vendors, business partners, etc.
- Acknowledge religious and cultural holidays celebrated by the organization’s employees
- All gender friendly bathrooms
- Use gender neutral language throughout company materials
- Ensure events include drink options for non-alcohol drinkers
- Provide necessary toiletries in bathrooms (i.e. tampons, pads)
- Provide nursing rooms for mothers
An Inclusion Council is defined by Forbes as, “A group providing representation from different backgrounds within the organization, who meet on a specific cadence to discuss what is being actioned on DE&I, how it’s working and providing advice on what to do next.”
Diversity and Inclusion Councils hold the company/organization accountable for jumpstarting and managing the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging process. This is crucial for managing diversity in the workplace because it ensures that everyone who is not typically invited to the table is represented and spoken for.
Does your executive team portray diversity and inclusion? Your executive team is a huge representation of the rest of your workforce. Top management sets the scene for work culture and speaks volumes for the level of priority that Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging holds in the organization.
It is quite logical that executives and top management should reflect the diversity the organization wants to achieve. As mentioned in a Forbes article titled What Should Inclusion Really Look Like in the Workplace, “I think most organizations need people of color in management positions. Inclusivity happens organically when you have diversity at the top of the organization”.
It is critical for interviewing panels to be assembled of employees from a wide range of backgrounds. It's inevitable that everyone brings personal biases when evaluating candidates but by having a diverse interviewing panel there is a better understanding of cultural qualities that do not hinder the candidates ability to perform the job. Additionally, diversity and inclusion training in the workplace will help minimize biases in the interviewing process.
Most companies, especially in big tech, end up trading individuals between companies, instead of taking risks with new talent. Leaders are now becoming more open to incorporating new talent and taking chances on teams outside of the typical talent pool - that is where true diversity is found.
Emphasize your stance by publishing your values on your platforms. This will organically funnel diverse talent into your organization/company.
Measurement is the biggest factor when holding organizations accountable for Diversity and Inclusion efforts and commitment. Your company will need to identify both quantitative and qualitative measurements for tracking the progress of your diversity efforts. This might require outside help - there are many platforms that can provide the necessary toolkits to get started.
It’s easy to voice commitment to a diversity initiative, the hard part is following through to resolve diversity issues and ensure inclusivity. It is crucial to sustain the same energy and commitment throughout the process.
Accountability sits at the top and requires monitoring impact on diversity initiatives and consistently reporting on your progress. It is recommended to set high diversity expectations and track changes every quarter if possible. This is why forming Diversity Councils is one of the main actions to take when committing to Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in the workforce.
In order to form a sustainable commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, organizations need to focus on communication, actions, and accountability. Communicate your goals and measure progress along the way. Set high diversity expectations, but always admit what you don’t know, ask questions, and welcome discussions and feedback to improve Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging across all industries.
Advantis Global has committed to Diversity and Inclusion and formed the Advantis Diversity Council. The council is focused on creating a more inclusive place where our employees can bring their full selves to work.