With a more diverse workforce than ever before, organizations are often caught playing catch up. Diversity and inclusion foster safe environments for people of different races, genders, backgrounds, and cultures to thrive in the workplace. Diverse teams offer a wider range of perspectives, as they all have different experiences. In turn, by prioritizing diversity and inclusion at work, employee engagement and productivity can skyrocket.
As an admin professional, you may be wondering how you can uphold your company’s DEI initiatives. We’re excited to share three practical and actionable steps you can take to promote inclusivity and diversity in your workplace.
As an admin professional, you may not feel equipped to promote DEI. Shouldn’t it start at the top, with the organization’s executive team? In a perfect world, the answer is yes. But the general workforce has just as much power and influence (if not more so) to create the work environment they want to be a part of and drive forward.
Let’s explore how admin professionals can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace with small but significant steps.
Bias is a personal judgment for or against a particular group of people, individuals, or things, when compared to another in an unfair or discriminatory way. Unconscious bias is a social stereotype of specific individuals formed outside of a person’s awareness.
Unconscious bias can be unlearned or rewired at any level. Many resources are available for employees to explore their bias, like taking the Implicit Awareness Test (IAT) to understand your own biases and how to correct them. You can also listen to podcasts and read blog posts or books on unconscious bias to bring awareness to your team and your organization.
Leverage your network of individuals to bring more diversity to your own workplace. If you assist with hiring, reach out to any diverse groups in your community to find like-minded individuals who can interview for open roles in your organization. Ask for referrals from the leaders of these organizations so you can find potential candidates who share your organization’s values.
Employee resource groups, or ERGs, are essential to create inclusion in any organization. In these groups, employees and leaders can connect, find common ground, and solve problems together. Organizational ERGs should foster feelings of community and belonging for all members, regardless of their role in the business.
As an admin, you can participate in the growth of your company’s ERG by encouraging all employees to join. ERGs are built on camaraderie, acceptance, and fairness, which is at the foundational core of the DEI movement. Volunteer to plan the meetings, offer to create the agenda, or create meeting notes that members can refer back to and use for putting plans into action.
In a survey by Glassdoor, 76 percent of job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an enticing component when applying for a job or considering a company. The importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion for modern job seekers simply cannot be ignored.
If you’re curious about diversity and inclusion training at your current company, speaking to leaders in the organization is a great place to start. Chances are good that DEI is already on the executives’ to-do list. In fact, they may even be in the process of building more inclusive guidelines or action plans.
Diversity training introduces topics and systemic issues to which many employees may have little exposure. This training introduces unconscious bias and discusses cultural competency. Moreover, it can provide employees with real-world examples of how diverse teams actually achieve more, perform better, and are more effective at solving problems.
Initiating a conversation around diversity and inclusion training may be intimidating, but it’s worth having. Try discussing the idea with your supervisor or colleagues, then make a suggestion to the relevant business executives that you know.
Want to learn more about workplace diversity, inclusion, and leadership? Browse ASAP's webinars and articles on the subject. We’re committed to providing professionals from diverse backgrounds with all the tools and resources needed to advance their careers.
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