A corporate culture is a whole story about how a company wants to operate and work. This is one of the most public and highlighted ways to state clearly what your stance on diversity and inclusion is. Defining an inclusive culture not just about taking a stance in public, but it is a personal commitment of leadership down. Management has to not only communication but to engage and motivate employees and customers with forward-thinking (#DiversityForward) ideas that take organizations from diversity to inclusion to include women, the LGBT community, IWD (Individuals with disabilities), minorities and veterans.
Unfortunately, in many instances whenever someone mentions talent diversity initiative, people follow up with a simple statement “We want talent over diversity” as if the diverse talent is synonymous with inferiority. The uncomfortable truth is the job market is drenched in business practices that claim to have a diverse workforce while not fully accepting the inclusion initiative.
According to a Deloitte Research, most mandates for diversifying the workforce rarely include creating an inclusive workplace. Although diversity is at the forefront of many industries only 11% have actually managed to establish themselves as inclusive workplaces. The Research by the National Center for Women & Information Technology stated that diverse and inclusive hiring is not just good for the people being hired but also good for the employer. Without inclusion being the goal, companies stand the danger of limiting their scope and insight.
A strong sense of purpose and value can galvanize the workforce and enable you to draw strong customer support. Gap and Levi Strauss focused on diversity and inclusion by standing up for the rights of the LGBT community, an issue that matters to millions of people worldwide. This was an action that could have affected their profits, but it highlighted their values and gained public praise regarding the Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Take time to listen to your talent and be transparent about your successes and challenges that underrepresented groups face and what stands between them and being employed by your company.
And don’t just listen passively but really do something about it.
Consider partnering with a talent solutions firm, like 360HR, who do more than provide diversity through inclusion services but is a part of the communities you wish to engage and include.