Improving Inclusivity and Diversity in the Workplace

Today’s society holds a great deal of bias, known and unknown. Biases, stigmas, and norms have become instinctive that we sometimes forget to ask ourselves: is this, right? 

Confirmation bias, similarity bias, and beauty bias are a few of the biases that are used daily by people. Bias has blinded society. It is vital to make our unconscious mind, conscious. For an equal society, we must acknowledge diversity and act by practicing anti-discriminatory policies.

Where better to start than in the workplace?

A workplace has the potential to impact our ability to improve diversity and inclusion within our lives. I mean we spend 5 days a week at work. So here are some steps to increase inclusivity and diversity.

1. Establish mentorship programs to grow diversity

When establishing diverse mentorship programs, one should visit sites that represent diversity and target a broad demographic. Make sure to account for inclusivity by including all people in the mentorship. A diverse mentorship allows for people to feel more comfortable as perceptions break down and comprehensive perspectives are accepted. An inclusive mentorship program fosters diversity.

2. Have diversity training for managers – but don’t force it

When trainings are of free choice leaders will be fostered. People will want to engage and learn about diversity not just because they must but because they understand the importance of it. However, one size fits all solution is ineffective. The trainings must pinpoint the specific workplace and must be tailored to address issues in an appealing and instructional way. Moreover, trainings should not take place once but should be a series of events, celebrations, and programs for continued learning.

3. Unconscious bias training for Recruiters

Alongside diversity training for managers, it should also be available to recruiters. Recruiters must be aware of potential biases and learn to recognize and avoid them in the recruitment and hiring process. This may require external consultants.

4. Adjust how you screen and search for candidates (Recruitment)

Recruiters must spread their search for candidates across various demographics. According to a Deloitte survey, 75% of millennials believe an organization is more innovative when it encourages diverse cultures and inclusion and are therefore more likely to leave a company if it does not meet their standards regarding diversity. To assess applications better some suggest anonymous applications, where recruiters focus on resumes and skills before learning applicants’ names. Chrome even offers an extension called Unbiasify to combat bias, where it removes names and photos of people to reduce unconscious bias.

5. Move forward with technology

To eliminate these unconscious biases, HR software programs and tools exist that use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to allow for finer hires. The algorithms can contribute to a more inclusive interview process. With diverse interview panels, that reduce bias, more diverse candidates may be attracted in the future.

However, one of the most important factors for all companies to consider regarding inclusivity and diversity is don’t forget to talk about it. Keep it at the top of everyone’s mind, including employees, managers, CEOs, etc. Gather feedback from your employees, communicate your diversity commitment online, and get new employees on board with diversity programs.

Nevertheless, to really implement and promote diversity in the workplace it must become part of the workplace culture, and it is often word of mouth that succeeds here.  Company policy, practice, attitude, and culture must embody and incorporate diversity. It is there we can turn our unconscious minds, conscious. 

Text av Sarah Tavakol

Publicerad av Viktor Cederholm