Whether your organisation is aiming to reach gender parity in senior roles or eliminate the gender pay gap, Diversity and Inclusion goals and strategies are a crucial part of any business’s outlook. My question for you is: how are you going to achieve them?
I’m not convinced by many of the strategies that organisations are relying on. Often, they’re not based on data or are missing the elements required for success. Add to that the complexities of Covid-19 which have led to heightened impacts for minority groups, and the redundancies of Diversity and Inclusion staff. This could be the perfect storm that rapidly expands the privilege gap.
So, what should your workplace do? Firstly, it must value Diversity and Inclusion! And, when it comes to developing economically viable and sustainable strategies that actually deliver change then, I believe the following four elements are essential.
‘What gets measured gets managed’ isn’t a new idea. But, too often, Diversity and Inclusion plans don’t include accountability measures that are connected to the regular business of the organisation – they’re plans stuck off to the side where they should be woven into the Workforce Management Plan.
Accountability for creating and managing workforce diversity should form a part of an organisation’s overall strategy (and not just as the value set), and they should be contained within the performance objectives or capability statements of every single leader and manager in it. Co-design achievable goals and nominate a person or people to measure them.
Unconscious bias training or cultural awareness training can support inclusion, but they’re not enough on their own. Research shows that being aware of our biases doesn’t necessarily change the decisions that we make – in the end we may still choose to hire the person who will hit the ground running.
The combination of awareness and well-crafted policies and procedures that reduce the ability of bias to impact the decisions you or your colleagues make allows you to cultivate diversity and promote inclusion.
Let’s return to recruitment as an example. By implementing a procedure that ensures a diverse group of people are involved, that priority is given to diverse candidates in the shortlisting process and reporting on recruitment data is conducted regularly, you’ll be working towards a fairer outcome and increased diversity. Read more about recruitment bias and how to mitigate it.
Don’t stop at the awareness training. Here are some other factors that can foster workforce diversity (be aware this is not an exhaustive list):
None of this work cuts through unless your direct line managers are demonstrating inclusive leadership. However, it’s important to understand that inclusive leadership is a learnt set of skills. Leaders need to be able to:
Managing diversity in the workplace is not easy but is rewarding once you have the skills and confidence to do it. You can also develop your inclusive leadership skills in Bree Gorman’s Inclusive Leadership Workshop, which is designed to empower you or your manager to foster Diversity and Inclusion.
By getting these things right, you’ll be on your way to attracting more diverse candidates to your business and retaining them once they’re in the door. You’re also well-placed to realise the documented benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace – including increased productivity and innovation, improved staff engagement and trust. All things that every organisation needs right now.
If your workplace needs a D & I helping hand, Bree Gorman is here. We can advise on existing action plans, support your organisation to create a Diversity and Inclusion strategy and more! Get in touch today.
19 August 2022
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01 March 2021