If your company wants to improve diversity, but management's approach is to leave it up to the hiring managers, you're missing out on the benefits of a truly inclusive and diverse culture.
Every employee and department should play a part in creating a more inclusive workplace. Real talk: If this is a company-wide goal, it should be a company-wide effort.
It's time to gut-check your organization to see if you're doing everything you can to create a diverse workforce and build an inclusive workplace.
Unsure where to start? Glassdoor has a guide for building a diversity, equity, and inclusion program.
Diversity and inclusion teams
Improving diversity means attracting, developing, and retaining diverse employees long-term. This should be weaved into your company's culture, your brand, and your employee experience.
While hiring managers are rowing as fast as they, they can't steer this ship. It's up to leadership to chart the course. For example, many organizations have hired dedicated diversity professionals to help prioritize and pursue diversity and inclusion initiatives. These folks work in concert with company leadership to help provide direction.
Visible executive and leadership roles like "Chief Diversity Officer," "Head of Diversity and Inclusion" and "Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion" signal to both job seekers and employees that companies are making diversity a priority at the highest levels.
Organizations with strong D&I efforts see strong financial performance, increased positive brand awareness, and an enhanced competitive edge in hiring, developing and retaining new talent.
Professionals with these roles are responsible for tasks like leadership accountability, education, development, creating and growing internal employee resource groups (ERGs), and more. But it's not enough to just have someone in a DE&I position. These leaders need and deserve adequate financial resources, adequate staff, and leadership buy-in to make positive and lasting change in the diversity space.
Rowing together: How to make diversity part of everyone's job
While diversity executives can take the helm, each department should foster ways to contribute to the company's diversity and inclusion efforts. Here are some ways that different departments and positions can create positive change in the diversity space. This includes human resources, with goals that are department-wide, not solely up to hiring managers:
- Look for ways to remove bias from the hiring process
- Create internal communities like ERGs that allow meaningful and robust opportunities for professional connection, development, and mentorship
- Provide company-wide, mandatory training on unconscious bias, diversity, and inclusive, respectful communication
- Analyze promotion processes to understand where gaps may exist for certain groups of employees
- Create strict, written policies regarding racist, bigoted, ableist, ageist, and otherwise discriminatory behavior
- Discuss diversity and inclusion topics with employees, encouraging people to learn more and do more
- Analyze department diversity and inclusion data and create promotion and hiring goals to build a more diverse team
- Support and participate in initiatives as an ally, like joining ERGs, supporting fundraisers, and attending activities
- Learn how to uncover hidden biases and develop a more inclusive approach at work
- Attend annual diversity and inclusion training
- Learn how to be an ally in your personal and professional life
Assess how the company interacts with its communities and customers. It's possible that biases could be hindering your diversity and inclusion efforts. Or, you could be inadvertently excluding minority groups.
Culture is the accumulation of each individual's contribution and action, so building an inclusive culture should live with each worker and be treated as everybody's shared responsibility.
If you treasure it, track it
Setting goals is admirable but without a way to measure them, you won't know whether or not you are truly making progress and creating change within your organization. Glassdoor can help.