Diversity in the workplace is a topic that has been discussed and debated for decades. Although
current movements and trends have guided the discussion, there is still much work to be done
regarding professional diversity. For those who want to improve the inclusive demographics in
the office, here is how to start.
What Constitutes Diversity?
When people think of diversity, their thoughts might gravitate to racial inclusion and hiring
employees of color. While this does make up a large portion of the discussion, diversity extends
to factors beyond just race. When it comes to being professionally diverse, a business should
consider race, gender, age and physical ability to get the most diversity of thought and perspective possible.
If a company is made of a majority group — such as middle-aged Caucasian men — it could be
difficult to expand the demographics. However, studies have shown that cultural, generational,
racial and ethnic diversity within the workplace can have contribute to the successful execution
and outcome of ideas.
How to Improve Workplace Diversity
It is 2021. Companies that are behind the times could be damaging their business in a way that
might not reflect on spreadsheets. Even if management does not always recognize or address
the flaws inherent in a homogenous environment, employees almost always do. Many
employees understand that bosses and administration set the tone for company culture. If
these leaders are taking a culturally blind approach, it can create tension.
Employees are one of the most important assets to a business. This means that a company
should be creating an environment that respects everyone’s backgrounds and offers the same
opportunities for growth. If you think your company could use some improvement with
diversity, here are some ways to get there:
1. Prioritize anti-discriminatory policies.
2. Evaluate the diversity of upper management. Management and the Board of Directors should ideally reflect your employee base — and therefore the communities you do business with.
3. Acknowledge different traditions and practices.
4. Create an open dialogue about concerns among employees.
5. Implement inclusive programs.
6. Assess everyday language used in the office and in documentation.
7. Adjust the screening process for potential candidates.
8. Start offering diversity training.
9. Encourage employees to come forward about grievances or complaints.
10. Hire diversity managers.
When it comes to becoming more diverse, there are multiple ways to approach a change within
a company. The most important step is to simply evaluate the current environment and make
the necessary internal changes. Improved inclusion policies can lead to more employee
participation, less turnover, better engagement and overall company satisfaction. Learn more
about why diversity matters with our resource.
Guest Blogger Dr. Towanna Burrous is President of CoachDiversity Institute and a best-selling
author, trainer and ICF Professional Certified Coach based in Washington, D.C. As a highly
sought-after executive coach, Burrous’ mission is to empower diverse communities through