As companies establish diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) departments, those working within this industry require empathy, open-mindedness and effective communication skills in order to succeed.
DEI employees must also understand how to work effectively with people who do not recognize the significance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
Individual contributors in any company can be instrumental in driving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives forward. Without taking on management duties themselves, these employees can act as mentors and advocates for DEI initiatives by helping colleagues feel comfortable working in an inclusive workplace environment. They may also help ensure the culture and hiring practices reflect diversity; for instance ensuring job ads don’t include language that may alienate certain groups, like “team player” or “self-starter.”
Your DEI team can also ensure your company has an inclusive talent pool by targeting underrepresented areas in the workforce and supporting programs to advance DEI, including mentoring programs connecting young people to support their career development and educational goals. They may also develop and facilitate training programs for people leaders, HR professionals and employees that enhance understanding about diversity at work as well as how to promote inclusiveness at work.
An important role of individual contributors is to proactively share their perspectives, ideas, and experiences about diversity, equity, and inclusion at work. This could involve simply speaking up about it or taking more active steps like participating in one of RingCentral’s diversity and inclusion workshops.
These workshops aim to help employees recognize how their perceptions of people and situations may be biased, leading them to form misconceptions or prejudices against certain groups. Participants also practice ways of countering any biases they might experience as part of themselves and how they can foster a more inclusive culture within the company.
Pew Research Center conducted a recent survey which indicated that most workers believe focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is beneficial in the workplace; however, opinions regarding DEI vary substantially by demographics and political affiliations; women were especially likely to view DEI as beneficial.
Diversity equity and inclusion jobs involve overseeing numerous initiatives and programs designed to foster an inclusive workplace, such as conducting an annual pay equity analysis, forming employee resource groups based on various identity markers, training on unconscious bias for all employees, etc. They often serve as the first point of contact for employees with questions about company efforts in this area.
An effective diversity, equity and inclusion manager must have an in-depth knowledge of all the complexities associated with their position, including an understanding of various forms of discrimination as well as how best to tackle each. Their goal should be creating an atmosphere in which everyone feels valued and respected regardless of background or experiences.
Companies are prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) amid ongoing protests of police brutality or an overall push for social justice, leading to an upsurge in DEI jobs since September 2019. According to Indeed’s estimates between September 2019 and September 2020 there was a 53.6% increase.
If you’re seeking this type of position, at minimum you should possess at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources management or another related discipline, with several years of work experience. Furthermore, an understanding of federal and state laws concerning discrimination will also be essential, along with an eagerness and desire for diversity promotion within an organization.
Gaining support of managers and executives in this career is often the hardest challenge, particularly if your task involves creating new policies or making existing ones more inclusive. Therefore, it’s essential that early in your career, you develop relationships with these individuals so they have a positive view of your efforts; additionally, convince them of the advantages a diverse workforce brings to business. It would also be wise to establish strong networks of like-minded professionals as well as join professional organizations so as to stay up-to-date on current best practices.
Diversity is a core principle of business, and inclusion ensures employees from diverse backgrounds feel welcomed into the workplace. Diversity includes race, gender, social class, religion and sexual orientation – each group being treated equally and given an equal chance to thrive at their workplace.
Individual contributors in diversity equity and inclusion jobs don’t typically hold management responsibilities but instead collaborate with various teams to explain how diversity can benefit them. An African-American woman could offer insight into what products or marketing strategies will appeal to other Black women while Hispanic men could assist with educational initiatives within the company. Furthermore, such individuals could create and sponsor employee groups tailored specifically for particular demographics or characteristics – like creating or sponsoring Black Employees Organization or LGBT affinity group membership.
Diversity, equity and inclusion specialists may have various responsibilities depending on their industry and department or company size, yet one key objective always remains consistent: making sure every employee has an equal chance to thrive at work. This can be accomplished through presentations, trainings or events designed to engage multiple divisions or departments simultaneously – often this is handled by specialists themselves as part of their responsibilities.
Larger businesses often hire diversity, equity and inclusion consultants to assist in their efforts to reshape company culture. These experts can identify goals and techniques for improving hiring practices, eliminating bias from job advertisements and handling any employee complaints about discrimination that might arise internally.
Diversity, equity and inclusion consultants not only aid individual companies, but can also advise federal agencies and organizations seeking to advance diversity within their communities. In some instances, consultants can even be promoted into senior diversity officer positions that report directly to the head of human resources; this approach is especially popular at higher education institutions where diversity officers specialize in student recruitment, retention and group formation around students’ characteristics or interests.
Chief Diversity Officer
The Chief Diversity Officer, or CHIO, serves as the top-level leader of an organization’s diversity and inclusion program. They establish its overarching vision while working closely with senior management leadership on strategies and objectives supporting diversity and inclusion. In order to be effective at this role, CHIOs need a keen knowledge of stakeholder maps within an organization as well as metrics that provide support for its ongoing evolution as cultural anchors.
CHIOs must balance urgency with reality when working towards more inclusive workplace. Working alongside leaders both inside and outside HR, they should help change management practices such as reviewing performance evaluation systems to ensure fairness; CHIOs should also understand how changes in public policy could impede the efficacy of DEI plans.
Experience in corporate human resources is required for this executive-level position; several years’ worth of experience leading DEI initiatives across an expansive organization is highly desired. Certification or licensure in diversity sensitivity inclusion training would also be advantageous.
Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) serve in an advisory capacity directly under a university provost or president, reporting directly on diversity matters. CDOs lead the creation of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plans at their university while overseeing implementation. CDOs act as agents of change by placing DEI at the forefront of institutional values, programs and operations.
The Chief Diversity Officer will be expected to oversee a team of diversity professionals and provide mentorship, enabling their careers. In addition, a CDO may be charged with developing a diversity training curriculum for employees at all levels within an organization, helping employees become aware of their own biases and how to avoid them in the workplace.