A diverse workforce is essential for bringing innovative ideas and new ways of thinking to the table. In employer brand, embracing diversity in your organization can help with attracting, recruiting, and retaining a creative and diverse team of employees. In this month’s round-up, we’ve curated five articles with insights into how to diversify your workforce and the advantages of doing so.
Most corporate vision statements include the word commitment. But commitment alone isn’t enough to change both the culture of organizations and the behavior of individuals. We need a common goal to work toward, and we need the courage to have tough conversations that lead to productive change.
Since signing the CEO Action pledge for Diversity and Inclusion in 2017, we have taken a hard look at the role of unconscious bias in the work environment. We have had extensive dialogues with our top leaders as we kicked off our first formal talent review and succession planning sessions. We are creating opportunities for open discussion about the ways in which unconscious bias affects talent review and career development. We have provided unconscious bias training to caregivers at all levels of the organization, We are integrating language around diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias in our training and education platforms.
What is an inclusive workplace? An inclusive workplace is one that values individual differences in the workforce, and makes them feel welcome and accepted.
Inclusivity and diversity are moral and legal responsibilities and employers are working hard to give diverse voices a platform. However, employee retention is an issue when the workplaces are not inclusive. Inclusivity is a clear intention translated into policy to recruit people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised due to factors such as age, race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, physical disability or mental illness.
Inclusive Design is defined as the accessibility and usability of a product by a broad range of population irrespective of any differences without the need to specially adapt them. It is impossible to design something that is a perfect fit for the entire population, but inclusive design researches the target market and provides an appropriate response to address the diversity in this target population.
With more companies wanting diverse hiring, blind submissions can eliminate bias from the outset.
I am frequently asked "What is it like to be a Female Chief Technology Officer?," and I try to ignore the question. However, after recently receiving my fourth gender-specific award (this time, Female Entrepreneur of the Year), I posed a question on Quora if anyone had ever hired or not hired anyone because of his or her gender. I only received vehement no's in response--however, I'm positive this isn't the true picture.
Early in my career, I was the recipient of reverse discrimination--I was hired specifically because I was a woman. As there was a requirement for both internally maintaining and demonstrating the product to the public, they had a preference--unwritten in the job description--for "someone customers found pleasant to look at". While there were plenty of men I know who would have loved that job, I snagged it because I was the person best fit for the position.
In early 2018, EO DC joined forces with the Employer Assistance Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) and DC Metro Business Leadership Network (DC Metro BLN) to host an event to educate entrepreneurs and small businesses on the value of hiring people with disabilities.
At the event, presenters shared resources on building a talent pipeline that includes people with disabilities. In addition, young people with disabilities from around the National Capital Region interested in small business ownership had the opportunity to discuss their ideas with experienced EO DC members.
EO DC Chapter President Marsha Ralls welcomed attendees. “During my time as President of EO DC, my chief priority has been an increased focus on diversity and inclusion, not just among our membership, but in our members’ workforces,” she said. “We’re excited to be working with EARN and DC Metro BLN to help our members learn the steps they can take to make their companies more disability inclusive.”
Organizations and leadership teams across all industries have long focused on diversity in the workplace. Over the years, the parameters of diversity have expanded from focusing on gender and ethnicity, to include a wide array of defining characteristics such as religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, ideologies, generational differences, and political beliefs, among others. In recent years, there has been a shift in perspective among HR practitioners that has moved the focus from diversity to inclusion, as diversity alone has presented some pitfalls.
As businesses focused solely on diversity, at times, the very people intended to benefit, were made to feel isolated and unwelcome. All too often, people were made to feel they were hired solely because of their association with a certain demographic group, not for the unique contributions they brought to the table as individuals. As it turns out, diversity is only half the equation. The full picture requires the concept of inclusion. Diversity is the variety of individuals within the organization; people of different races, religions, genders, cultures, ages, sexual orientations, and disabilities, just to name a few. On the other hand, inclusion is understanding, accepting, valuing, and welcoming people’s differences and utilizing them to benefit the group.
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