We all want the best for our employees. So creating an inclusive environment is essential.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace ensures everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive in a professional context without facing prejudice or alienation. Organizations must find ways to cultivate and nurture inclusive work environments that support all employees, no matter who they are or where they're from.
Questions to Ask Yourself 💭
Take time to self-reflect. See where you can grow and improve your understanding of D&I in the workplace by asking yourself the following questions.
- Am I adequately educated on the topic of diversity and inclusion?
- What policies and practices are used in the workplace that leverage diverse skills and perspectives?
- What additional learning is there for me to enhance the inclusive work environment that I want for my team?
Personal Experience with Diversity:
- How do I feel about diverse teams?
- Have my past professional experiences shown me what a diverse group is?
- What struggles have I witnessed minorities face in the workplace?
- Is there space for more diversity and inclusion on my team?
- Do I know who may feel set apart from the rest of the team? And do they feel estranged or uncomfortable at work?
- What support systems are available to staff?
- Am I seen as an advocate for diversity in the eyes of the team?
- How would I respond if someone acts offensively at work (e.g., racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic)?
Steps for Success ✅
Here are some ways you can take to improve D&I in your workplace.
- Educate your leadership team. Ensure leadership knows how to make all employees feel valued at work by offering a D&I Leadership Training Program. Check out the professionals in your local area who offer in-person sessions or the many options available online.
- Listen to Employees. Check-in with your team and hear what they say about D&I. For more candid and safe discussions, make time for one-on-one meetings. If you want a group discussion, plan a team huddle to brainstorm suggestions for improving the work environment.
- Be Ready to Deal with Discrimination. In the case of workplace discrimination or harassment, create procedures to help you resolve issues.
- Respect as a Company Value. Stand for nothing less than complete respect in the workplace. Make sure to establish respect as an organizational pillar for your employees from the get-go during onboarding. And consider making it part of your business manifesto.
- Hire for Talent. Having a truly diverse and inclusive team means all employees are empowered through responsibility and being granted trust by employers. Ensure you're bringing the right people onto your team and not tokenizing your hire by 'filling a spot.'
- Create Connections. Ensure minorities on staff feel safe so they can thrive! One way to do this is by creating groups that foster connection and support, called Employee Resource Groups. These groups are for people with shared characteristics, such as the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, working parents, females, and people with disabilities, to come together and find ways to make work a better place!
- Celebrate Diversity. Make everyone feel special by celebrating what makes them who they are. Host virtual or office parties celebrating cultural events, like Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year, International Women's Day, and Pride! Showcase these notable events on your social media accounts.
As much as D&I is a tool for improving how we treat one another, diversity and inclusivity also significantly impact business. McKinsey reports that organizations identified as more diverse and inclusive are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors. So really–you have something to lose if you don't embrace D&I.