How to Champion Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Diversity board room

Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion hiring practices enjoy several key benefits. The numbers speak for themselves. Research revealed that a truly diverse work environment results in innovative thinking, better job candidates, and increased profitability.

Nevertheless, these benefits are just the tip of the iceberg.

Companies with a diverse workforce are twice as likely to meet and exceed financial targets. An inclusive culture also allows companies to be six times more likely to anticipate change and respond effectively.

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace directly impact employee engagement and productivity, particularly among millennials. A report stated that 83% of millennials said they would engage their organization more if it had an inclusive culture.

You would think that these findings were enough to overhaul the approach to human resources. However, the incredible value of diversity and inclusion alone cannot change biases. What is needed is genuine self-reflection and the desire for genuine change.

Take Time to Learn About Diversity and Inclusion 

Take Time to Learn About Diversity and Inclusion Before you can apply diversity, you have first to define diversity. Diversity in the workplace means having different people based on gender, religion, race, generation, sexual orientation, and much more.

Diversity and inclusion refer to almost the same thing. One company sums it up as “diversity is the mix of people; inclusion is getting the mix to work well together.”

To leverage the advantages of diversity, senior leaders have to change the intentional and unintentional hiring and promotion biases.

Put Diversity and Inclusion Employees in Leadership Positions

Put Diversity and Inclusion Employees in Leadership PositionsMaking diverse and inclusive employees visible and ranking members of an organization helps change the biases ingrained in company culture. Homogeneous organizations are limited by their narrow composition, missing out on fresh perspectives and the competitive advantages it brings with them.

A phenomenon known as “intentional invisibility,” where women take a risk-averse approach that avoids conflicts to navigate unequal workplaces, should stop.

As more women and other minorities get promoted to leadership positions, they should gain the authority to apply their inherent strengths to company management.

Empower Women and Minorities

The first step to empowering women and minorities is to be transparent about diversity and inclusion programs. This includes asking about women’s work experience and calling out “mansplaining,” a real barrier to a truly inclusive workplace culture.

Empower Women and Minorities

Closing the pay gap is another clear sign that shows a company commitment to diversity. This tangible step shows sincerity in rewarding the important contributions made by women and other minorities.

When you reward employees equitably, you can motivate them to bring even more to the table.

Expand Your Definition of “Diverse”

You must go beyond the simplistic view of gender and racial diversity to boost diversity. A diverse team comprises people of different ages, appearances, religions, sexual orientations, education, and political beliefs.

Diversity encompasses different values, motivations, personalities, passions, and cultures.

Diversity is about celebrating differences. If you do not know where to begin, you can start by considering a personal difference you may have. If this difference can affect how individuals relate to one another, it is worth considering your diversity and inclusion efforts.

Embrace the Unique Traits Employees Bring

Embrace the Unique Traits Employees BringDiversity is anchored on the idea that differences make a company culture stronger. People from different backgrounds have different priorities and value systems that should be explored and respected.

Understanding and learning about the people around you leads to higher personal respect and fosters better relationships for more effective collaboration.

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Challenge the Status Quo

Changing mindsets is not done overnight. There is no one single solution to it, but there are ways you can challenge the status quo today.

The Harvard Business School published some concrete steps to increase diversity and inclusion that work.

Involve Managers from the Start

A one-size-fits-all strategy cannot work for diversity and inclusion. Organizations and companies have different internal logistics and cultures, so it would be more effective to include managers to add context.Involve Managers from the Start

Experts usually design programs that are then deployed to managers. It would be wise to get managers’ side from the start to have more effective diversity and inclusion programs.

This has the advantage of increasing buy-in and helps to make interventions more sustainable and long-lasting.

Increase Representation

When minorities are under-represented in the organization, they may be aware of stereotypes and tokenism. These biases can result in negative consequences for both the workers and the larger organization, resulting in limited progress.

In addition to increasing the representation of these groups, companies need to improve visibility in other ways. For example, companies can have less represented members lead internal presentations and represent the company at conferences.

Take Online Courses

Take Online CoursesYou can also educate yourself on the nuances of diversity with online courses. These courses are free, but they also offer you a way to broaden your mind and break down biases.

Diversity And Inclusion in the Workplace 

This course by Coursera explores the contradiction of diversity. We need to hear and see things differently from our own belief systems to benefit from diversity. However, hearing and seeing different opinions triggers a reflex of discrimination.

The course teaches us the dynamics of diversity, how to manage it, and how to channel it into improved work performance and innovation.

Understanding Diversity and Inclusion

This is another free resource by FutureLearn. Diverse talent is much more than just ethnically diverse, so this course helps you understand the diversity that encompasses other criteria.

The course also teaches the impact of age, religion, and many others on diversity. It also equips you with the skills to create a more inclusive and open environment welcoming to all.

Diversity and Inclusion Microlearning Library

Grovo by Cornerstone offers a free sample of their five-minute micro-courses. These cover unconscious bias, learning to call out discrimination, and information on why diversity is an important asset.

Final Thoughts

The numbers speak for themselves. Research has found that a truly diverse work environment results in innovative thinking, better job candidates, and increased profitability. If you’re looking to improve your company culture or want more information on how diversity can boost your organization’s bottom line, visit LeadAdvisors!

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