Diversity, equity and inclusion is an ever-expanding conversation. Many who engage with this work do it out of lived experience or their commitment as allies.
In order to create an empowering and inclusive workplace, it’s essential that you set clear Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion goals and communicate them to all employees within your organization. Once done, one-on-one conversations between employees and leaders must take place regularly in order to solicit feedback on where improvements need to be made.
1. Invest in People
Diverse teams tend to be more innovative and creative than homogenous ones, thanks to people from diverse backgrounds and experiences bringing new approaches and perspectives on old problems, helping solve complex issues in novel ways, and offering unique approaches. That is why long-term investments must be made in diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies – these involve creating and maintaining an environment in which diversity is valued and respected through training sessions, hiring practices, flexible work arrangements or employee recognition programs.
As your first step in developing an DEI plan, set goals that are measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Make sure they align with company values while still being relevant for individual employees’ professional growth.
If your goal is to increase female representation in leadership roles, a good strategy would be setting a percentage goal over several years or promising to hire more women over time. If your organization is predominantly male, an alternative might be making a pledge to hire certain numbers more women in coming months or years.
Your organization can foster a diverse and inclusive workplace by prioritizing relationships. This means recognizing cultural and religious holidays while encouraging empathy among your employees. Furthermore, finding employees who champion DEI initiatives and support DEI initiatives is crucial – you can do this by identifying workers with passion for these topics who could take leadership roles within this space.
By investing in your employees, they will reciprocate by giving their best effort on every task and contributing more towards your business. In doing so, you will foster both a diverse and inclusive workplace environment while simultaneously building a thriving enterprise.
Companies that invest in diversity and inclusion tend to outshone their competitors. Gender diversity stands out as being particularly advantageous: one study found that companies with 30 percent female executives outperformed those in the bottom quartile by 48 percent! Diversity also extends to race/ethnic diversity issues.
2. Invest in Culture
Culture plays an integral part in shaping how employees feel about their work. An inclusive culture empowers employees to take risks and share perspectives freely with colleagues – leading to improved ideas and innovation.
However, it’s important to remember that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) do not apply equally across society. If one group has more access than another does to resources – that would constitute inequity – however DEI seeks to create an environment in which everyone can flourish regardless of identity or background.
As part of an effort to foster diversity and equality at work, one key aspect is making sure everyone feels welcome and treated fairly. This can be accomplished by creating an atmosphere where all voices are heard regardless of rank or seniority.
Empower employees to make decisions that will benefit the company overall, while offering professional development opportunities across departments or tenure. This ensures all employees can thrive and grow individually and contribute toward greater employee engagement.
Engaging in diversity and inclusion efforts is also an effective way to attract top talent; according to a 2021 McKinsey survey, 82 percent of workers reported being more likely to apply for jobs at organizations which prioritize diversity and equity.
Gen Z and millennials in particular tend to favor companies that embrace diversity and inclusion, as well as those that share similar cultural beliefs to themselves.
Diversity, equity and inclusion have become essential components of business today. By prioritizing these values in their strategies, businesses can foster more empathetic cultures while better serving customers and communities – hence why more and more organizations are taking steps toward becoming more equitable.
3. Invest in Leadership
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) refers to any business’s efforts and policies that aim to make all its employees feel welcome in the workplace despite differences in culture, religion, ability, gender orientation or economic background. Such values become embedded into its culture as core business practices.
However, during a crisis many businesses tend to prioritize safety, security and continuity over DEI initiatives – this can prove challenging for companies aiming to maximize the productivity and engagement of their diverse workforce as employees may feel alienated and undervalued – which could reduce morale, productivity and engagement levels significantly.
Companies that invest in their employees’ wellbeing through diversity, equity and inclusion are more likely to retain staff, boost morale, build culture, increase productivity and achieve business success. When organizations establish clear and measurable DEI goals and communicate them throughout their workforce as well as celebrate progress toward meeting them, everyone becomes part of improving workplace environments together.
DEI goals may range from as simple as increasing female leadership positions to revamping company structures to ensure people from different backgrounds have access to opportunities within an organization. If a company employs 50% female employees but none are managers, that presents a serious issue that must be addressed immediately.
Some companies have taken it one step further by changing their DEI acronym to place inclusion at the forefront, showing their dedication to it as part of every strategy. Keep in mind that diversity and inclusion are two distinct processes which will require continuous effort throughout a business’s existence. Training and support should be available to all employees as well as addressing any unconscious biases that might exist. Businesses that neglect DEI risk falling behind competitors quickly. Without effective strategies in place to embrace diversity, top talent may leave your company.
4. Invest in Values
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is of great significance in both business and the broader society because it creates a sense of belonging for all individuals. By encouraging DEI, organizations can foster a more equitable society that prioritizes social justice and fairness; creating more inclusive work cultures can also attract and retain top talent while improving employee satisfaction levels, driving innovation forward and more.
Integrating DEI into the workplace takes time and effort. To start off, it is necessary to define what DEI means for your organization before setting goals for improvement. These should be measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound so you can track progress easily while making consistent improvements.
If you’re seeking to implement a diversity and inclusion program at your company, the best place to start is by assessing existing efforts and developing new ones. For instance, take a closer look at who currently comprises your team or leadership; consider hiring more women or minorities if necessary; offer training programs designed to teach employees to identify bias and discrimination; Joan C. Williams from Diversity Equity and Inclusion knows all too well how one-time training events cannot bring lasting change.
As part of your DEI strategy, it is also important to assess your company culture as well as the wider business environment. For example, if there is poverty or lack of economic opportunity in your local community, DEI initiatives that promote social justice such as job-training programs and community outreach activities might be appropriate.
Finally, investing in your employees when creating a DEI strategy is paramount to its success. Do this by creating an environment in which all people feel welcome to express themselves freely in the workplace – this may include offering mental health support services or wellness initiatives – ultimately leading to engaged employees that contribute more directly towards your bottom line.
Though there is much work left to be done when it comes to Diversity & Inclusion (DEI), more workers want to work for organizations committed to DEI. According to a 2021 survey conducted by CNBC and SurveyMonkey, over 80% of workers expressed willingness to join organizations dedicated to DEI.