Historically, people from marginalized backgrounds, especially black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), received access to professional and educational opportunities blocked by systematic barriers. The lack of access led to a striking disparity in representation across all levels in the modern workplace.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Understanding the Concepts
Before diving deep into the topic, it is crucial to understand the difference between diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace context.
Diversity refers to the intersection of different people belonging to different regions and cultures with different experiences and abilities. When it comes to diversity in the workplace, the issue is deep-rooted in several years of biased and poor recruitment practices, which led to workplace diversity where it is today. Approximately 78% of employees report that their organization lacks diversity in leadership.
Equity ensures that workplace systems and programs are fair and impartial and offer equal possible outcomes for all employees. It means leveling the field and addressing the needs of each employee and their unique circumstances.
Inclusion involves offering every employee a sense of belonging. It means that they feel comfortable and supported by the organization when it comes to being their most authentic selves. Companies with inclusive cultures receive 2.3 times more cash flow per employee.
Four Powerful Ways of Promoting DE&I in Your Organization
With some effort and strategic planning, your company can create a culture that helps promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Enlisted are some powerful and effective ways to consider.
Encourage employees to recognize words and actions
Organizations should have a non-negotiable policy to treat every employee with respect and dignity. Organizations must foster, recognize and encourage kindness and inclusiveness at all levels. Leaders must encourage the employees to report abusive, divisive, and exclusionary words to Human Resource departments.
Beware of unconscious bias.
Organizations must understand bias and build awareness as the first step toward organizational change. As leaders, we must address it by helping employees understand how individuals get affected due to unconscious bias and the actions that continue to reinforce it. An excellent way to build awareness and address the issue is to encourage employees to review questions and analyze their personal biases and assumptions.
Embrace more inclusive workplace policies.
As an organization evolves more into diversity, we leaders must delve deep into our current practices. Besides, we must also conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your organization. When you facilitate workplace diversity, you create new policies or amend the current ones across the system- from recruitment to promotions and performance evaluations. For instance, if you are posting for job openings, tailor position descriptions so that they reach a broader audience.
Develop a strategic diversity training program.
Diversity training helps your employees understand how cultural differences influence others and how people work together and interact. Focus on training that is relevant to your organization and your employees. Moreover, it must align with your DE&I initiatives and challenges. Employees are always curious, asking for the reasons for training. Your duty as a leader is to communicate the reasons for organizing training, the problems you require solving, and its outcome. It motivates your employees helping them understand how the learnings tie back to broader organizational goals.
Promoting the DE&I approach in your organization is the beginning of a broader strategy. If your organization is planning to take the initiative to evolve into an all-inclusive workplace, Talent Intellect can help. It emerged as Asia-Pacific’s leading organization in Leadership Coaching and Mentoring. The company helps businesses stay abreast of the latest developments in People management and fosters a digital workplace empowering talent that encourages innovation.