The world is changing, and the workplace must change with it. As we become more and more aware of the value of diversity and inclusion, it's crucial that managers and leaders promote these values in their businesses. 57% of employees want to see more diversity in their company and the tech industry is one sector that still has a long way to go
Diverse companies are more innovative and creative. They also tend to have happier employees who stay with the company longer. Here we'll look at ways organisations can improve employee relationships while promoting diversity and inclusion—top tips included, so don't miss out!
Be Aware of Unconscious Bias
The first step in creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace is becoming aware of your unconscious biases. These biases are often hidden and do not necessarily align with our conscious beliefs.
However, they are just as toxic. The question to ask yourself is: Are there factors influencing who you hire and promote without realising it?
Unconscious bias is something we all have, but you need to be mindful of how you may manifest your own. Unconscious biases can show themselves through simple mistakes like never hiring someone for fear they won't work hard enough or promotion decisions influenced by gender roles rather than qualifications. To identify where yours come from, take some deep breaths first, then analyse each assumption that influences you- this includes both conscious beliefs and subconscious ones.
Evaluate Your Company Executives
Diverse executives are not just good for business; they help create an inclusive culture that should reflect your company's values. A diverse leadership team will not only show how committed management is in creating diverse work environments but also build a company where everyone feels welcome.
Obviously, it can be hard to make changes to your current executives. White men account for most corporate leadership in many Fortune 500 companies. Despite some progress within FTSE 100 companies, there appear to be still significant issues of females and ethnic minorities not being on track to leadership roles. However, while we aren't suggesting you boot out the current team to bring in the new, you can prioritise increasing the diversity for new hires and promotions. Opening opportunities and encouraging a diverse workforce at all points within career pathways will secure a future of success in changing the diversity ratios at leadership levels.
Acknowledge the Role Diversity Plays in the Workplace
A diverse workforce is both refreshing and innovative. By recognising the value of difference, you can tap into many new perspectives to help your business grow and future-proof it.
You will also have access to a broader talent pool, more skills and talents, and more productivity. It will be easier to make core changes to be more diverse by acknowledging these benefits rather than thinking of improving diversity within your organisation as a tick box exercise.
Create a Culture Where Everyone is Heard and Respected
Start by opening up conversations about the current issues that affect minorities in the workplace. This could be related to potential gender pay gaps, religious holiday requirements, facilities for mothers returning to work, or any other problems your employees are coming across. Be sure to encourage participation and push for transparency from everyone about the difficulties that need addressing.
Having these open and honest conversations will make it easier to find ways to improve and show all your employees that you genuinely care about each of them regardless of background, gender or sexuality, disability or beliefs.
Top Tip: If your offices have additional rooms or meeting spaces that often go unused, create personalised, safe spaces for employees, e.g. a place for prayer or a private area for breast pumping.
Keep Asking and Reassessing Employee Feedback
A vital step toward improving diversity and inclusion is to continue to work on your DEI approach. Don't set up one focus session and let it fall by the wayside. Whether you use surveys, focus groups, or even have an internal complaint department, ongoing feedback on implemented changes can help you understand what is and isn't working.
Even if you already have a diverse workforce, there may be things that you need to do to keep them feeling included and welcome. Asking these employees for feedback will help you facilitate essential conversations, improve communications, and find better ways to move forwards.
Top Tip: For people in the workplace to feel connected and included, there needs something more than just respect - there should be a celebration of differences too!
Assess Company Policies
An essential part of inclusivity and diversity is assessing your company policies. Many older policies may include areas of discrimination and can perpetuate problems with diversity in the workplace.
By evaluating each policy, you'll be able to identify those requiring updating, avoiding a culture based on outdated ideas and procedures.
As well as considering the existing policies, you'll probably need to create new ones too to strengthen anti-discriminatory practices with robust new procedures.
Use a Recruiting Team to Your Advantage
If you use or work with a recruitment agency, you can ask them to help you improve the diversity and inclusion of your workforce. Whether providing a job advert that encourages more women to apply or taking a look at your current policies to ensure you aren't inadvertently being discriminatory, you can use a recruitment company to your advantage. For example, at Consortia we will actively change job adverts to include more female coded wording to encourage more female applicants. We search for talents without bias on your behalf and understand how to search for hidden or transferable skills from a wider pool. We will frequently work outside of core hours to speak with candidates from across the world, and our team are always happy to help with any concerns you have about improving your recruitment process to make your search for staff more equitable.
Top Tip: Recruitment consultants know the inside workings of many different organisations. Consider them a valuable resource as they may be able to point out areas requiring a change within your organisation to encourage applicants from a more diverse workforce. At Consortia, we have often consulted on flexible and remote working policies or current interview strategies to improve clients' ability to appeal to a broader talent pool. For general pointers, you can access some tips from our resources at the bottom of the page or get in touch directly for specific questions.
Start Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is an ongoing process that each company needs to prioritise. Use the tips we've provided above to start improving your company culture and celebrate it as you go!
Do you need help finding and hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce? Consortia can help. We can help companies in the tech industry find the best recruits whether it's for your UX, Product, Data or Development team we have specialists covering these niche areas.
Contact our team to learn more about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the hiring process and to start the recruiting process today.
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