Each year during award show season, it seems a controversial topical movement becomes an unofficial theme. This year diversity and inclusion was the real star of the show. Hollywood is just the most publicized industry dealing with these issues, but Human Resources professionals are dealing with Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in their own businesses across the world every day.
Frances McDormand accepted the 2018 Oscar for Best Actress and used her widely-televised platform to address the real problem we are having with diversity and inclusion. McDormand’s heartfelt speech encouraged Hollywood players to use their stardom for the greater good and brought the topic to the forefront for many organizations and HR professionals.
There are practical ways for employers (and employees too!) to systemically bring more diversity and inclusion to their organization.
Consider and recognize that diversity and inclusion is more than just race and gender
Diversity in the workplace is about curating a company comprised of talented individuals that vary in not only race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, generation, and disability, but in life experiences.
When you have a team of diverse individuals, the benefits become clear. Your products and deliverables will be better by leveraging the different experience and knowledge that comes with diversity and inclusion.
Set goals and educate yourself about diversity and inclusion
Without setting diversity and inclusion goals, it will be hard for your organization to measure the success of the efforts you’re making. Set these goals to align with the business objectives, vision, and values of your organization. However, your goals should not be focused on percentages and checkboxes. Focus on the people aspect and the value a diverse workforce adds to the company’s success.
Before setting these goals, educate yourself and become “culturally competent.” If you are spearheading diversity and inclusion initiatives at your organization, you will be the one setting an example. Be sure you are setting the one you want.
Turn current employees into diversity and inclusion advocates
Diversity and inclusion are part of your people strategy so who better to emphasize, practice, and promote these initiatives than your current employees?
Employees then become advocates themselves when they see their boss is respectful, culturally aware, and sets standards for behaviors. You can even train managers and supervisors about biases and creating environments in which all employees feel safe and contribute to their greatest potential.
Here are a few actionable steps you can take to becoming a more diverse and inclusive workplace:
- Eliminate gender-specific language in job descriptions
- Minimize unconscious bias by implementing blind screenings
- Hold educational workshops or trainings
- Train employees who participate in the interviewing process