Diversity and inclusion have become some of the main focuses of HR departments, talent recruiters and managers. While many organizations still struggle with these principles, a diverse, inclusive workforce benefits everyone: It has been proven to be a key driver of internal innovation and business growth and helps organizations cater to a broad spectrum of individuals. An empowering diverse and inclusive workforce improves retention rates and engagement and helps build a strong corporate culture.
So, what can you do to get there? Here are 5 common misconceptions about diversity, equity and inclusion – and ways to tackle them.
There are many more dimensions of diversity that make every individual unique and that we must acknowledge if we want to build a diverse and inclusive workforce. These factors can be divided into two categories: Inherent diversity involves demographic characteristics like sexual orientation, age, nationality, class/socioeconomic status, physical abilities/disabilities, political or religious beliefs. Acquired diversity includes factors like education, experience and skills. Recognizing these differences and their possible intersections is essential to achieve an understanding of potential privileges and barriers individuals are facing.
Understanding the different meanings of these terms is an important step in identifying issues your organization might have and finding ways to improve.
Appointing trained DE&I professionals can be a great start to tackle issues your organization might have – but making your workforce more diverse and inclusive is not a task that can be outsourced to a single person or department. Integrating these values and practices is a complex and continuous task the entire organization has to be committed to. Top management has a responsibility to formulate policies that promote diversity and set a good example implementing them.
Your marketing and job advertisements have an immense influence on who feels attracted to it and encouraged to apply for a job, as they can reproduce unconscious biases that can discourage talents from diverse backgrounds.
Employees from diverse backgrounds often face discrimination and microaggressions in their work lives: Unconscious biases can affect how managers judge professional performances and achievements.
Programs like our digital mentoring solutions support managers fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. We help identify, motivate and support internal talents with leadership ambition, focusing on women and members of marginalized groups. Through connecting young professionals with experienced mentors, we encourage a dialogue and exchange of knowledge, skills and values.
If you are interested in our custom online mentoring solutions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Feel free to schedule a call here.
With our short interview series we want to give you an insight into the daily work of our clients and partners. First off is Una Clifford-Bahçecik, who works as Senior DE&I Advisor at the European Investment Bank (EIB).