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  • Sonja Der

Diversity and Inclusivity: Beyond the Buzz Words



Summer is here and we couldn’t let the week come to a close without acknowledging Juneteenth. This week we recognize Juneteenth by celebrating the diversity within our team and in the workforce. As business professionals, we have had various issues to consider in the past 2 years. Among those at the top of the list is the evaluation of a very sensitive subject: diversity and inclusion within the workplace. This hot topic has rightly become an urgent focus of businesses, employees, and prospects alike. We must pay close and careful attention to this component as it affects hiring, staff management, retention, and overall team morale. When top talent, especially those of the younger generation, are searching for employers, understand that this is near the top of their list. If you’ve not done so recently, reflect on and assess the diversity of your organization. If everyone surrounding you looks like you, thinks like you, and/or has a similar approach to life, there could be room for growth in this area. Here are a few ideas for evaluating diversity and inclusivity in your workplace:

  • Conduct an informal assessment of your current work team. Does everyone look, think and act similarly?

  • Ask yourself if changes need to be made to create a more inclusive environment

  • Review your HR policies and procedures to ensure they’re in compliance with current federal & state requirements

  • Review your website to ensure that the photos and narrative reflect your business’s vision of an inclusive workplace

  • Review marketing materials to ensure the language is appropriate and not limiting

  • Craft job ads with open language that engages all ages, genders, and races

  • Consider conducting a diversity & inclusivity discussion with you and your team to collect feedback regarding how you’re doing

I acknowledge and understand the incredible sensitivity surrounding this topic. I am fully aware some of you will agree with this line of thinking while others may find this viewpoint idealistic. But diversity in the workplace is about more than any single characteristic or component. It is also about perspective, education, life experience, and more. I am not suggesting hiring based upon any single characteristic. However, I am suggesting openness and consideration of all characteristics equally to ensure making the optimal long-term decision for your business. This article link summarizes things well. I’ll end with a quote from it: “If you really believe in D&I, pursuing it requires more than just hiring more diverse people. It also requires a diversity of thought.” Leadership quote of the month: “Diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice we make every day. As leaders, we have to put out the message that we embrace, and not just tolerate, diversity- Nellie Borrero In the meantime, please click here to schedule a complimentary discussion with me about ideas on how to create greater diversity and inclusion awareness.