Now more than ever, companies need to focus on promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Although thousands of organizations have made staunch efforts toward a more inclusive workplace, there’s still much work to be done. In fact, there are specific industries that still lack adequate representation of marginalized groups. Maintaining a diverse and inclusive work environment requires continuing education, awareness, and practice.
Whether you’re looking to establish more diversity on a macro (large) or micro (small) scale, there are steps everyone can take. Here are 5 ways to promote more diversity and inclusion at work in the upcoming year.
There are countless ways companies can move toward a more inclusive model at work. Although these are some concrete steps toward workplace diversity, it’s important to note it’s an ongoing effort. Companies need to restructure their work models from the ground up in order to implement more diversity and inclusion. Here’s how.
Companies should find better ways to diversify their hiring and recruitment process. Committing to unbiased recruitment and hiring takes more than just reaching out to underrepresented groups alone. It also takes evaluating why their applicant pool isn’t diverse in the first place.
Promoting different methods of outreach, fostering an inclusive work environment, and hiring people of all backgrounds are essential. You can even create a department dedicated to this process, too.
Your workplace likely consists of people from a multitude of cultures and backgrounds. The workplace is not homogenous, meaning everyone is different. This means people will celebrate many different holidays this season. You can even create a work culture where it’s okay, and expected, to ask people what they celebrate. Acknowledge the diversity of people’s cultures, lived experiences, and backgrounds.
This should go without saying in the 21st century. However, it serves as a necessary reminder. Commit to pay equity in the workplace regardless of race, gender, age, sexuality, or background. If employees are in similar roles, one should not be making less than the other. If there are pay gaps among your team, examine them, and remedy them.
This also means companies should create more equitable opportunities for career advancement. Ensure that the process for a promotion or pay raise is offered on an equitable basis.
Ongoing diversity and inclusion training is necessary in order to educate and raise awareness in the workplace. If your company doesn’t offer them already, invest in diversity training. This can help your team unlearn or become aware of unconscious biases. This training can also increase awareness of the various issues coworkers of multiple backgrounds face.
Create an environment where open dialogue, feedback, and room for growth are encouraged. Do employees feel safe to bring their concerns to upper management? Are executives checking in with their team members? Companies can even offer anonymous surveys to gauge a sense of how their work environment affects their employees. Facilitating open dialogue, leaving room for feedback, and not being afraid to make mistakes. Everyone is learning together.
With all of this being said, it’s important to answer the question, “what is diversity and inclusion?” To summarize, diversity and inclusion is the process of making people feel seen, heard, and valued, regardless of background or identity.
Companies should work toward creating an inclusive workplace model, and commit themselves to the growth that comes with it. This is an ongoing process, and can be an imperfect one, at that. This is why employers and employees alike need the right tools to build an inclusive workplace for everyone.
At ASAP, we’re dedicated to providing professionals of all backgrounds with the tools they need to thrive in their careers. View our vast collection of training resources to learn more.