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Building a Stronger Workplace Through Diversity and Inclusion

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Great diversity in an organisation results in greater innovation and productivity. McKinsey research found a statistically significant correlation between diverse leadership and better financial performance.

Diversity and inclusion builds stronger and more effective teams

Movements like #blacklivesmatter have brought up issues that companies need to address.  However, there are well-known organisations that have understood the benefits of cultivating an inclusive culture.

Many successful organisations have over time crafted and implemented extraordinary diversity and inclusion policies.

Diverse employees can bring together their different talents, experiences and skillsets to come up with creative ways of problem-solving.

How diverse and inclusive is a company?

While companies like to talk about diversity and inclusion, the proof is in the composition of their workforce and recruitment efforts.

To create diverse talent, organisations need to be willing to think beyond culture fit and hire candidates whose backgrounds and perspectives can bring ideas and innovation. 

How can organisations be more inclusive?

Experts agree that each organisation is different, there is no one size fits all and what works for one organisation may not necessarily be successful in another. 

It's only when the entire leadership team of an organisation steps up to own diversity and inclusion will a company’s diversity and inclusion practices thrive.

5 Examples of best practices for diversity and inclusion

We've gathered some best-practices owned by companies that value diversity. So if you’ve been thinking about making your D&I policies robust, here are some companies worth noting:

1. VMware has included diversity at the interviewing stage as their CEO has committed (on CNBC) that “No job-hiring process will end unless a minority candidate is interviewed.”

2. Intel commits to “increase the number of women in technical roles to 40%” (all roles)

3. Facebook commits to a 30% increase in the number of people of colour in leadership positions over the next five years. Companies like HP, Levi Strauss and Microsoft follow similar practices. 

4. The diversity goal for Hilton is to have a 50% diverse slate of candidates.

5. Yelp has set the bold goal to source 50% women and more underrepresented minorities for all roles.

Apart from the companies mentioned above, there are practices of diversity and inclusion which are trending due to the purposes that they fulfil. 

  1. Create a workplace for all: Organisations need to be intentional about their people and create a sense of belonging. Employees who feel connected have a more productive impact. 
  2. Equal growth opportunities: One of the attributes of a great place to work is the opportunity to grow. Employees feel motivated when they see a promising path in an organisation which does not have a glass ceiling.
  3. It's a good idea to rewrite those job ads: Just as a CV is the first reflection of a candidate, a job ad is the first reflection of a company and its diversity and inclusion values. If you want to attract diverse talent, the language you use in your posting will make a significant difference. As an example, a study on job postings found those using masculine-type words like “ambitious” and “dominate” were less appealing to female applicants.

While it may not be feasible for every company to assign resources for their diversity program, managers would agree that diversity and inclusion begin with a change in mindset. Inclusion should not be a one-off training, it's an ongoing resolve. Multiple perspectives improve problem solving and creativity, as a result, multicultural teams are a win-win.

Measure your success

If you’re serious about your inclusion policies, we would suggest a numbers driven plan. Here is something to consider: 

  1. Make a plan (after research on what others have done)
  2. Review your employee strength and understand how diverse your organisation really is
  3. Set KPIs and measure how you’re working towards your goals

Diversity and inclusion do not happen by chance. So, if you want more innovation in your business, hire a more diverse team!

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