Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are more important than ever. In a changing world, organizations need to be open to different perspectives and backgrounds in order to stay ahead of the competition. A diverse workforce can help organizations tap into new markets, understand their customers better, and come up with innovative ideas.
Diversity and inclusion take on a whole new meaning in the nonprofit world, where the work is deeply purposeful and oriented to positive impact. However, many organizations are still struggling to create a diverse and inclusive company culture.
This article discusses what diversity and inclusion in the workplace look like, the different types of diversity, and how inclusive organizations are building diverse teams and increasing employee retention.
What Do Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Look Like?
Diversity and inclusion have become buzzwords in the business world in recent years. But what do they really mean?
Diversity refers to the different ways we are all unique, including but not limited to our race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, and disability status.
On the other hand, inclusion is about ensuring you have an environment where everyone feels valued and respected and where each person has an opportunity to contribute to their fullest potential.
A diverse and inclusive workplace looks like a place where:
- All employees are treated fairly, regardless of their age, race, sexual orientation, or gender.
- You see diverse representation in leadership roles.
- All team members feel welcomed and have equal access to employment and promotion opportunities.
- Leaders actively work to strengthen anti-discriminatory policies that may have preceded them.
- Leadership takes multiple perspectives into account when making business decisions.
- Leaders encourage their employees to speak up about workplace diversity (or a lack thereof).
- Policies honor and/or support employees’ diverse religious beliefs, traditions, and cultures.
Inclusive leadership is about much more than just hiring “token” employees from underrepresented groups. To create a truly diverse and inclusive workplace, employers need to take a comprehensive approach that includes everything from recruiting and hiring to mentorship and professional development.
When it comes to recruiting, employers should make an effort to reach out to potential candidates from various backgrounds. They should also ensure that their job postings are free of any language that could be interpreted as exclusionary. The interview process should be fair and objective, with all candidates being evaluated on their merits.
Once hired, employees should feel like they are part of an inclusive community where they can be themselves without the fear of judgment or discrimination. This starts with ensuring that all employees are treated with respect and given equal opportunities for growth and development. Employers should also provide their employees training on diversity and inclusion so that everyone knows these values’ importance.
The Importance of a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce
Plenty of research shows that diversity and inclusion are beneficial. Companies that value diversity and inclusion are more pleasant and enjoyable places to work. And they also tend to be more successful and productive. According to a study done by Mckinsey, top businesses with more gender-diverse executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average performance than companies with less diversity.
More diverse companies are better positioned to succeed in today’s increasingly globalized and competitive marketplace. Diversity and inclusion aren’t just the right things to do – they’re also good for business performance.
Tips for Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace
One of the challenges facing many organizations today is how to create a more diverse and inclusive environment. But there are some things you can do to make it happen.
Try these tips to get started:
One way to create a more diverse and inclusive culture is to embrace the diversity that already exists within your organization. This could involve things like hosting cultural events or days celebrating different heritage months.
Encourage employees to share their personal and cultural traditions in the workplace as they feel comfortable. This can also help attract diverse talent when you are actively recruiting.
Diversify Your Talent Pool When Recruiting New Talent
There’s still a long way to go when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the nonprofit world. A 2017 study shows that more than three in four nonprofit CEOs are white — and more than half are men. Part of the reason this happens is that people’s networks are often the first place they go when finding talent — and our networks tend to be filled with people who are similar to us.
To change this, prioritize inclusivity in your recruitment. When you’re recruiting for open roles, take steps to ensure that you’re reaching out to qualified candidates from underrepresented groups in your organization. This includes getting a diverse talent pool, making adjustments to your job descriptions and application process, and using inclusive language in your job postings.
Challenge Your Own Biases and Assumptions
According to the University of California San Francisco’s Office of Outreach and Diversity, bias is “a prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another usually in a way that’s considered to be unfair.”
It can be conscious (meaning you’re aware of it) or unconscious (meaning you’re not). We all have them, and they can sometimes blind us to the diversity that exists around us. Make an effort to recognize your own bias, understand how it may influence your recruitment and hiring practices, and consciously work to counter it.
Encourage Open Communication
A key part of workplace inclusivity is making sure that everyone feels comfortable communicating their thoughts and ideas. Encourage open communication by creating forums where people can share their views without fear of judgment or reprisal.
Support Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
ERGs are voluntary employee-led groups that promote diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Supporting employee resource groups is a great way to connect employees with similar backgrounds or interests. It can also help raise awareness about diversity and inclusion issues.
Be Willing To Learn
A willingness to learn about other cultures and experiences can go a long way toward creating a more inclusive environment. Make an effort to learn about the different cultures represented in your workplace. You may also want to consider offering diversity and inclusion training for employees.
Lead by Example
As a leader, you set the tone for diversity and inclusion in your organization. Model the behavior you want to see from others and make sure that diverse and inclusive workplace culture is a priority in your organization.
Ensuring Your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Are Effective
A diverse workforce can bring new perspectives and ideas, help to foster a culture of innovation, and give your nonprofit the ability to make a lasting impact.
But simply having a diversity and inclusion policy is not enough. To be truly effective, you must carefully plan and implement these initiatives. Your nonprofit can take several key steps to ensure that your diversity initiatives and inclusion efforts are successful.
- First, conduct a comprehensive needs assessment. This will help identify areas where the organization may be lacking in diversity and provide insights into what employees are looking for in terms of inclusion.
- Next, set goals and objectives for the initiative. These should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).
- Once you’ve established the goals, develop an action plan for achieving them. This plan should outline who will be responsible for each task, when it should be completed, and how progress will be measured.
- Finally, conduct regular evaluations to ensure that the diversity and inclusion initiative is meeting its objectives.
Reap the Benefits of a Diverse Workplace
Diversity and inclusion are essential for any organization that wants to compete in today’s marketplace. By promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, your nonprofit can create a more innovative and effective workforce.
If you’re looking for help to launch a diversity and inclusion initiative, we can help. We specialize in helping organizations create customized solutions that help achieve their overall mission and goals. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more about our services.