8 Ways to Promote Diversity and Inclusion as a Business
1. Diversity & Inclusion: Everyone Is Talking about It, but What Is It Really All About? What Is Diversity?
Diversity means difference in a good way. The ideal is for all employees at businesses and other institutions give all employees respect and appreciation, regardless of dimensions like gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion or worldview, disability status, age, sexual orientation or gender identity. A team can be considered diverse when a majority of these dimensions of diversity can be found at a company.
The strategic management approach for using this diversity strategically is called diversity management. In 2021 the order of the day is the creation of an environment where all employees can flourish for the good of the company. A current study from Stepstone shows that 77% of candidates are more likely to apply for jobs at companies that present themselves as tolerant, diverse, and open.
An inclusive culture appreciates differences, considers diversity to be something that enhances overall performance and offers all employees – regardless of background – the same opportunities.
2. Being an Inclusive Employer: 12 Benefits
We live in the age of globalization. Why shouldn’t our work environments be as diverse as our social media feeds or meal plans? According to Stepstone’s study, diversity is becoming more and more of a factor in competitiveness: 70% of the 11,000 people surveyed assume that a diverse management team improves employee motivation, and two-thirds of respondents think diverse management teams are more likely to strike the right note in complex situations.
The Advantages of Diversity
- Increased employee loyalty
- Improves teamwork
- Evolves the company culture
- Boosts employee satisfaction and reduces fluctuation
- Studies show that companies with greater cultural diversity have higher revenues and profits
- Strengthened creativity and innovativeness: a multicultural team with mixed ages brings with it a broader spectrum of knowledge, skills, and perspectives. Companies expand their resources.
Businesses with a healthy balance of men and women are 21 % more likely to outperform their competitors. Businesses with a good mix of ethnic backgrounds are 33 % more likely to outperform their competitors.
- Employee magnet: tolerant and diverse companies draw in candidates. Good diversity management counteracts the shortage of skilled workers.
- Fill positions more quickly: studies show that jobseekers think companies that promote workplace diversity are more modern. Tolerant companies benefit from the full potential of the labor market because they accept everyone who “knows their stuff.”
- Diverse, inclusive companies are more profitable.
- Better customer focus: diverse teams are better able to empathize with the needs of different customers and target audiences.
- Positive company image
- Easier to enter new markets and promote internationalization
Teams that are gender, age and ethnically diverse make better decisions up to 87 % of the time.
3. How to Promote Diversity as an Employer: 8 Opportunities
- Get into New Work: offer flexible work time and a good work-life balance
- Restructure your recruiting process to promote diversity: adapt your job ads and application process and ensure that selection processes are free of prejudice.
- Offer training in diversity and inclusion.
- Set up workstations that are accessible and barrier-free.
- Promote the creation of intercultural teams.
- Promote the acceptance and tolerance of sexual orientation and gender identity (for example with sensitivity training and by naming a trusted person).
- Help employees reduce their (subconscious) biases, for example with training, especially for managers.
- Run initiatives to improve family-friendliness and support single parents.
4. Tipp: Discrimination in Job Ads: How Not To
How do courts decide whether a job ad is discriminatory within the meaning of nondiscrimination law? Case law and legal journals offer clues.
a) Gender-coded terms: IT Security Ninja, Payroll Rockstar, or Contract Manager
Such formulations might sound fancy, but they are an absolute no-go in job ads. Subconsciously they evoke a certain image: that of a (young) man.
Be careful when writing your job ads. In particular, keep the job title as neutral as possible. A vacant position must be formulated in a gender-neutral way.
b) Qualifications overload: must-haves, nice-to-haves, and so much more
You’ve probably heard the following statistic: Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.
c) KPI, SLA, P&L Business Jargon and Internal Lingo
You do not have to prove to anyone that you know what you’re talking about. Too many technical terms, abbreviations, and internal company jargon push people away more than they draw people in. Especially young candidates who don’t have much experience yet are scared off by too much corporate language, even though they might actually be well qualified and a perfect fit for the job.
5. How To Take Diversity and Inclusion in the Hiring Process into Account
- Sad but true: we all have our prejudices. That is why it is so important to reduce (unconscious) basis. Figure out to what extent prejudices are influencing the recruiting process. Speak honestly with your recruiting team about this topic. That is the only way to become aware of prejudices and reduce them.
- Get expert help. Have your recruiters and hiring managers participate in diversity training.
- Keep the topic in mind when you are looking for candidates. Advertise your jobs on diverse platforms.
- Make your candidate pool as diverse as possible. Make it a point to network in various communities so your active sourcing team has the opportunity to speak to candidates from many channels.
- Create a guide: structured interviews allow less tolerance for decisions rooted in prejudice.
- Ask all your candidates the exact same questions. A standardized catalogue of questions shifts the focus to skills and qualifications and helps avoid being influenced by factors like age, gender, or disability.
- Focus on the topic of diversity: mention in the job ad and interview how important this topic is to you and include examples.