For years, organisations have wrestled with diversity and inclusion.
It can be hard to pin down, get right and drive internally.
But recent nationwide protests on both sides of the Atlantic against police brutality and systemic racism have accelerated both the importance and need for more businesses to take diversity and inclusion seriously.
Of course, great efforts to drive diversity and inclusion were already underway at some giant companies before these events.
For example, Google declared great news in their most recent diversity report when they reported: ‘We saw the largest increase in our hiring of Black+ technical employees that we have ever measured’.
And Google isn’t alone.
ViacomCBS Networks UK also revealed a series of measures to strengthen its diversity and inclusion efforts, including a “no diversity, no commission” content policy, which you can read more about here.
But while it’s great to see the subject getting more attention, ask yourself the following question:
Has your organisation made changes in policy or practice to support Black Lives Matter, Anti-Racism or diversity and inclusion movements?
If you have, then great! But there are always ways to improve.
How to elevate diversity and inclusion work in your organisation.
To address systemic racism, organisations are starting to create anti-racist diversity, equity, and inclusion change agendas. These new approaches are disguised in internal processes, policies, and culture.
But to truly improve internal diversity and inclusion and eradicate systemic racism, everybody in your organisation needs to shift their mindsets and their practices from treating it as an unrewarded “side hustle” to merit-worthy work.
To accomplish this, diversity experts need to be recognised and titles such as Chief Diversity Officer or Head of Inclusion are great ways to show your organisation takes diversity and inclusion seriously.
Likewise, leaders, managers, and employees who have traditionally treated diversity and inclusion measures as “extra” work need to be educated rather than lectured on the subject if you want to see adoption across the board.
Yes — everyone needs to take actions to address systemic racism, starting with their internal diversity and inclusion. But leaders, including the CEO, need to treat the actions being taken as merit-worthy to ensure that initiatives and efforts to eradicate systemic racism are sustainable far beyond the ebbs and flows of the current news cycle.
And remember that diversity is way more than just a business to-do; it’s a business priority! Click here to see a few ways in which diversity is directly linked to profitability.
And if you’ve already set diversity and inclusion wheels in motion, that’s great to hear! But don’t stop there.
Can you be certain your changes are long-term and woven into the very fabric of your organisation? And can you be sure diverse voices were heard when scoping, planning and implementing your diversity and inclusion initiative?
You see, diversity and inclusion isn't a threshold to be crossed. It’s a way of thinking that needs to constantly evolve to match the world around it.
Having diversity among races, genders, generations, ethnicities and thoughts within an organisation is one thing. But including employees with these experiences in the conversation can help leaders and organisations find the answers to these questions during trying times.
At UpSkill, we tackle the reasons why ethnic minority employees are underrepresented in management positions and provide you with the tools and techniques to empower them in key moments of career progression through an organisation.
We are creating content with companies, internally, to focus on the many implementations that can be done to start thinking about internal career progression and inclusion movements.
Click here to visit our ‘Career Progression and Inclusion Training’ page to learn more about what we do and how we can assist you and your organisation through our workshops.