Four ways your organization can strengthen its diversity and inclusion

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By: Brenda Pak

Diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of the mind of every leader. CEOs strategically plan how to easily integrate campaigns and metrics to increase diversity in organizational leadership ranks and make employees feel included in the workplace.

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted groups with diverse backgrounds, highlighting the responsibilities needed to focus more intensely on people and seek diverse talent as the economy recovers. The business case for diversity remains strong – as shown in this McKinsey and Company coin.

Having both gender diversity and ethnic diversity makes a big difference in financial performance. Companies looking to expand into new markets, increase innovation and gain a competitive advantage in their industry cannot afford to ignore research on diversity and inclusion in the workforce. artwork.

Here are four ways to intensify D&I in the workplace.

[Related: Why Nasdaq’s Diversity Push Matters]

1) Leadership should lead the charge.

With clear intentions and a metrics-driven approach, companies should place their leaders and senior executives at the head of the inclusion and diversity effort. D&I cannot be limited to the tasks of the HR function or employee resource groups.

In addition, these functions must be well equipped with resources (technologies), talents and partnerships to increase capacity and strengthen real efforts for change. Managers, in particular, should be held accountable and provide transparent results and efforts. A stronger D&I implemented as part of the core business strategy will produce a stronger business.

2) Increase innovation and decision-making by ensuring a diverse pool of employees.

Ethnically diverse businesses are 36% more likely to outperform less diverse organizations. Having diverse teams introduces diverse thought processes, perspectives and ideas. This variation can lead to a dramatic improvement in innovation and better group thinking.

In a global analysis of 2,400 companies conducted by Swiss credit, organizations with at least one woman on the board generated higher return on equity and higher net income growth than those without a woman on the board.

[Related: Achieving Workplace Inclusion: Three Steps Toward a Sustainable Organization]

3) Actively remove biases from the process of collecting performance reviews and how they are delivered.

According to a study by Harvard business review, there are four main biases that actively deter diverse candidates from climbing the corporate ladder. These include:

  1. Prove it again mindset: “Groups stereotyped as less competent – including women, people of color, people with disabilities, older employees, LGBT + people and blue-collar professionals – have to prove themselves over and over again. “
  2. The tightrope: A set of narrower workplace behaviors is accepted by women and people of color.
  3. The maternal wall: Assumptions that mothers are no longer engaged in their careers.
  4. Racial stereotypes: such as: “Asian Americans are good at technical tasks but lack the quality of leadership”.

Knowing that they are the best Prejudices that affect performance reviews, management needs to take action to find innovative ways to avoid these biases.

4) Provide equal opportunities for fairness and transparency.

Companies should not only announce that they are improving their diversity and inclusion programs and set goals, but work on implementation and monitoring progress. This open-mindedness towards progress inside and outside the company helps to progress towards a level playing field in terms of advancement and opportunity.

There should be the right tools, promotions, rewards and criteria that help employees understand how they can move from A to B, progressing to a true meritocracy. This could be done in a variety of ways, including setting clear, achievable goals that prepare employees for the promotion path, allowing candidates to recognize mandates that are important to the leadership team and to position themselves better. precisely for their future roles.

We cannot allow diversity and inclusion to be just buzzwords around corporate ecosystems. We need lasting change, and market leaders have the capacity and resources to deliver real results in diversity leadership and inclusion efforts.

With the help of the right technological tools and the right partnerships, companies can take giant leaps in improving employee morale and corporate culture. Fortunately, D&I initiatives are here to stay, and companies will only experience the benefits of their efforts.

[Related: How Men Benefit from Close Relationships with Women at Work]

Brenda Pak is co-founder and CEO of BackPac Social Activism, a multi-faceted platform of social activists used to connect people to opportunities to change the world. She is passionate about the idea of ​​teaming up with Millennials and Generation Z to engage with their cities and get things done by creating positive social impact. She previously held positions at the United Nations and Fortune 500 companies in the areas of investment banking and management consulting.


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