It’s not black & white: diversity in the workplace

It’s not black & white: diversity in the workplace

In the current political climate, we’re all more aware of diversity than ever before. Our world has reached a heightened awareness to the struggles of millions of people who have been previously on the periphery, and it makes you question if this awareness manifests itself in offices as well as on the streets.

Yes, we’ve been talking about diversity for years now, and the stats consistently tell us the benefits of a diverse workforce. For example, racially diverse teams outperform non-diverse ones by 35%. But often, the desire to create a diverse team is outweighed by a lack of education and a fear of getting it wrong. Many organizations don’t even know how to begin tackling the diversity beast, so we’ve broken it down and laid out five things you can start doing today.

Racially diverse teams outperform non-diverse ones by 35%Click To Tweet

Fish where the fish are.

If you want to hire more women or more ethnically diverse employees, there’s no point in fishing in primarily white, male candidate pools. Consider where you post your job advertisements and how you find people. Try going to college fairs that a more diverse student body. Some job sites have a higher percentage of male users, and no matter how great your ad is, placing it there won’t guarantee you a shortlist of female candidates.

Your friends are a reflection of you.

Develop relationships and links with local community organizations, cultural groups, and other companies that specifically work within diverse environments. It will give you access to a group of people your company needs, as well as creating an image for yourself that doesn’t solely exist within a singular narrative.

Know your bias.

Take the Harvard test developed to pinpoint a person’s unconscious bias and understand it. We all have it, as we are all a product of a world that has nurtured it. The cleaner, the CEO, the butcher, your mother, your neighbor, and the candlestick maker all have it. There is no crime in having it, but you do have a responsibility to understand what it is so you can combat and work against it. Awareness is the first step towards action.

Rely on your people.

Look towards your current diverse employees and take their lead. They know better than anyone else what will attract their peers, how to get them involved, and can act as brand ambassadors for you. If they know that you’re asking for their guidance and taking your responsibility to create a diverse workforce seriously, they will easily draw in their own network through your door.

Give them the tools.

Provide diversity training in your workplace, and make it an obligatory and regular exercise. There is often an assumption that if you’re providing workshops on this subject, then there is something wrong or it’s a result of an incident. That doesn’t have to be the case at all, and it’s important you take preemptive steps.

Take action before it’s too late — be the organization that brings change.Click To Tweet

Take action before it’s too late — be the organization that brings change and become an employer that other businesses look to for guidance. The issues of diversity within the workplace are not going to disappear any time soon, and we can no longer brush them under the carpet. It is long past time to stand up and do the right thing.

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