Diversity and Inclusion: A Business Imperative.
Increased attention on the disparities in education, healthcare and income, due in part to the global pandemic, has moved the topic of diversity and inclusion to the forefront of both public policy and corporate policy discussions. We are witnessing a groundswell of support for change and accountability on these issues around the world.
Even though large numbers of companies prioritize diversity to improve culture AND to boost financial performance, an increasing number of them acknowledge the difficulties in facilitating an inclusive work culture, making it hard for their diversity efforts to be deemed successful. Unconscious bias cannot simply be waved off.
Companies are Being Called Out for Diversity Failures In Record Numbers.
Does your company take diversity and inclusion seriously? More often than not, company leadership and employees will offer opposing views.
Perception (or sometimes social media) is reality. In the wake of worldwide protests calling for social justice and equality, companies are increasingly facing skepticism over diversity practices and poor track records. From scathing reviews on Glassdoor to off the record media interviews, and call outs on Twitter, employees are speaking out and calling for change. More often than not, there’s a blind side in the management ranks where leaders think the company’s diversity & inclusion efforts are sufficient, but employees think the workplace culture is a #Fail.
Approaching Diversity and Inclusion
How do you address diversity related workplace challenges? Collect and analyze HR data. Review and update workplace policies. Benchmark findings against industry leaders and peers. Train your leaders to recognize the signs of unconscious biases. Create accountability and timelines for transformation with measurable results. Take an honest look at HR data and turnover rates among underrepresented groups. Conduct annual employee surveys on workplace culture. Most importantly, show transparency in the process through clear communications, a well-structured plan of action, and a credible approach geared to address disparities.
Remember, effective diversity and inclusion programs require more than good intentions – , it involves showing, not telling how diversity is part of your corporate culture. Pledge to move beyond statements and walk the talk.