Have you heard the terms diversity and inclusion thrown around, but haven’t considered equity and belonging (DEIB) for your workplace? Research indicates that DEIB increases employee engagement, improves performance and brings fresh ideas to the table.
Diversity refers to all forms of human diversity, from skin color and gender differences to national origin and religion. Inclusion refers to creating an atmosphere and hiring process where all members feel welcomed exactly as they are; belonging encompasses authenticity, safety and trust.
Diversity encompasses so much more than race and gender identity differences; it includes all of the characteristics that make each person distinct: education, language, mannerisms, culture, social beliefs, physical abilities, age and socioeconomic status are all crucial components of our individual diversity if DEIB efforts fail to take into account them as potential talent pools.
To truly create an inclusive workplace environment, you need to move beyond hiring quotas and making sure members from marginalized groups are represented in leadership positions. Your goal should be creating an atmosphere in which all employees feel safe bringing all aspects of themselves to the work place – leading to more engaged and productive teams overall. Multiple studies have proven this fact.
DEIB goes far beyond just your workplace: it applies to products, services and communities alike. If you’re developing an app for tech companies like Apple or Facebook, seeking input from communities most likely to use it before designing it could ensure it will meet customer needs more effectively.
Equity, the final component of this acronym, refers to ensuring everyone receives what they require in order to thrive and realize their full potential. This can be accomplished by addressing inequalities caused by biases such as discrimination. These inequalities could exist due to hiring practices, promotion criteria, systems policies or even language used when discussing your business.
An effective commitment to DEIB means giving every employee an equal chance for success. If your efforts haven’t yielded desired results, perhaps a change of strategy should be considered. Watch our webinar, Building a Culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to gain insight from three purpose-driven companies who are using ERGs, providing space for difficult discussions, and incorporating DEIB policies and processes in their workplace practices and policies.
Diversity encompasses all of the characteristics that differentiate people, such as age, race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, education level, physical ability and sexual orientation – to name but a few. Diversity seeks to recognize and celebrate such differences as assets for our society while equity strives to ensure all individuals feel at home within any organization or classroom they belong.
Equity in a workplace refers to providing all employees equal access to resources and opportunities. This could include training programs, networking events, mentorship programs and other developmental activities; policies designed to make students feel welcome in your classes; responding to student needs while addressing oppression within communities or disciplines; as well as responding appropriately and resolving inequities among staff or administration.
Reaching diversity, equity and inclusion goals can be difficult for businesses. The language around these concepts may be vague; words may have different interpretations depending on your lived experiences. As such, it’s essential to use standard terminology when discussing these subjects to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations of words and meaning.
Discrimination refers to any unequal treatment based on conscious or unconscious biases; this includes profiling based on race, gender or religious discrimination as well as sexism and sexual harassment among other forms.
Organizations seeking to foster diversity, equity and inclusion must acknowledge that addressing its root causes requires taking multiple initiatives aimed at increasing representation of underrepresented groups, promoting respect and dignity among all, preventing harm as well as being aware of how policies and practices impact underrepresented communities.
Measuring how well a company upholds the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging can be difficult. Most companies rely on employee surveys to measure this achievement; however, this approach often only scratches the surface. Instead, purpose-driven companies should focus on strengthening employee resource groups (ERGs) to facilitate these essential conversations and make these spaces available to employees.
Inclusion is the third component of DEIB and may be difficult to measure accurately. It means making people feel valued for their unique identities while still feeling safe enough to bring all aspects of themselves into work – something research shows is important because people perform best when they can bring all aspects of themselves and interact with others in a mutually respectful and productive manner.
Companies are increasingly acknowledging the need to prioritize inclusion as part of their diversity and equity efforts. Companies have launched employee resource groups, networks, learning experiences, conferences, as well as created diversity goals which managers are held accountable for reaching. Companies also prioritize creating psychological safety – an essential aspect of inclusion – through open communication channels and processes (Allen Bryant Vardaman 2010).
While it is encouraging that more minorities are entering organizations, we must move beyond hiring minorities alone. Instead, inclusion must form the core of all diversity efforts; otherwise we run the risk of adding more minority faces but without seeing tangible positive results.
To be inclusive, a company needs clear policies that ensure equal opportunities and remove bias in its hiring and promotion practices. This involves recognizing and addressing unconscious biases that influence decisions in ways that unintentionally discriminate; additionally, employees should have a voice within their organization by giving them tools for self-expression.
Collective Health works closely with organizations to help them meet their diversity, equity and inclusion goals by offering culturally competent care through health plans. Though implementing such strategies may seem intimidating at first, their implementation will ultimately make your workforce stronger and more productive. If you need any help getting started or would like some additional advice regarding benefits – don’t hesitate to reach out – our staff would be more than happy to assist! Plus don’t forget our newsletter with all of the latest news regarding health benefits!
Employees today desire the sense that they belong. This basic need has an immense effect on employee wellness and happiness, productivity and performance, relationships among colleagues and customers as well as overall business performance. Organizations seeking to improve the employee experience are now revisiting diversity equity inclusion (DEI) initiatives with renewed emphasis on belonging.
Belonging refers to people’s sense of being part of a community, whether at work or within their local neighborhood. It encompasses feelings of connection and trust based on shared interests, values, and goals; this can be fostered through various avenues including social activities and events, mentoring programs, employee surveys that allow employees to share their experiences and perspectives and employee surveys that provide an avenue for sharing them.
Though belonging is often confused with diversity and inclusion, it’s essential to distinguish the terms. Diversity encompasses multiple groups within a community or population while inclusion involves engaging these groups. Equality is the ultimate goal of diversity and inclusion while belonging is all about experiencing this goal in practice.
Communitys often face difficulty connecting and supporting one another because structural barriers, including discrimination, inequality and marginalization limit their capacity to do so. To create an atmosphere of belonging for all members of a community, practices and policies must be inclusive and equitable in nature.
An example of inequality can be seen when resources are unequally distributed among three kids standing near a fence at different heights; one child can see over it while two other children, who are shorter, cannot. If one gives his help up so they too may see over it then this would constitute equity whereas if not, they are experiencing inequality instead.
Similar to an organization’s ability to engage and support its members, its engagement and support capacities may be compromised by ways in which it promotes or reinforces discrimination, inequality, marginalization or marginalization at both individual and organizational levels. To enhance a sense of belonging within their membership base, organizations must strive to break down these barriers through openness, transparency and confronting microaggressions or bias.