The Solution To Push and Promote Diversity in Your Workplace
Diversity in a workplace refers to race, gender, ethnic groups, age, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship status, as well as many other backgrounds. It’s no secret that the workforce has changed over the years and companies now consist of employees that are more of an accurate reflection of the country’s population, i.e., not 86.4% white males as it was in the 1950s.
The long-term success of any business today calls for a vast variety of talented people that can bring new ideas, perspectives, creativity, and views to their work. Finding the right people for the job, despite background or beliefs, can accelerate business growth, improve operations, and help it expand into areas that it couldn’t before, both culturally and internationally. When businesses have a diverse team, companies can access the abundance of talents and skills that employees bring while encouraging different perspectives to solve office problems.
But even with the leaps and strides made in the workforce for diverse workplaces, the diversity in the workplace conversation continues, and for some, they feel that there is still a lack of diversity within their industries and places of employment.
So, what is the solution?
Becca Wilson, CEO & Founder of Spherexx, says “YOU ARE THE SOLUTION.”
“Look around your office or workplace, if it isn’t diverse, then change it. Don’t whine about it, but fix it yourself. Recommend people you know to work at your company, ask to be added to the hiring committee, find a way to be a part of the conversation.”
Workplace culture is shaped by those who work there. Employees make up the business and therefore, are the driving force of what kind of place it becomes. We understand that not everyone is a decision maker for hiring, but that doesn’t mean employees can’t be a positive influence on those decision makers.
Ask yourself how you can be a part of the solution. Look at the ways you can be a part of the recruitment efforts to find and reach out to qualified candidates that come from different backgrounds. Consciously decide to start to break down the barriers that are in your company and encourage others to do the same. Show those decision makers the benefits of having a more diverse and talented team.
“Take decision makers to lunch and have an open and honest conversation with them about diversity in the workplace. Be proactive in making a change you believe needs to happen,” Becca Wilson.
Studies show that organizations that are more diverse are more profitable, more innovative, and retain more of their employees over time. Businesses have seen an increase in ROI when there is more diversity in the workplace. You could be the driving force in educating your leaders in the need for diversity in their organization. Hold conversations with your managers and owners of the company.
Christina Powers, Director of Recruiting and Staff Development at Spherexx, had this to say,
“From a recruiting perspective, we WANT a diverse office. The difference in perspective between generations and cultures is paramount to a company’s continued success. We also must be mindful and avoid disparate impact while recruiting to ensure that the most qualified candidates are hired. Procedures must be put in place to eliminate unintentional bias from the candidate review process. Utilizing standardized assessments helps us avoid this by providing us a baseline for skillsets needed to be successful in the role.”
Spherexx, for example, uses online tests that ALL candidates must submit with their resume. The company also utilizes an interview script that focuses on a candidate’s previous experience and their skills that will bring value to the company. Companies need to monitor their recruiting practices on a continuous basis to ensure that they are continuing to promote a diverse hiring process and culture.
No matter race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation, companies should hire someone because they are a good fit for the position. Employees can and should be a part of making this change within the workplace, breaking down barriers, and allow for diversity to flourish in their company.
As decisions are made by team members that are willing to be the solution, hopefully, one day the diversity conversation will no longer be needed.