Anja Zojceska | Culture & People | Workplace Diversity | December 22, 2018
In this guide, you will learn how to build, manage and promote workplace diversity. Incorporating these guidelines will help you create and maintain a more diverse and inclusive company culture and improve your company’s bottom line.
What is workplace diversity?
Workplace diversity is a term used for creating an inclusive work environment.
Companies with workplace diversity employ individuals with a variety of different characteristics, such as age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, political views, cultural background, etc.
In an inclusive workplace culture, all these individual differences among employees are accepted and all employees are treated on an equal basis.
The benefits of diversity in the workplace
Benefits of workplace diversity are usually mentioned in the context of social responsibility and boosting a company’s reputation.
However, workplace diversity has many tangible benefits that directly impact the company’s bottom line and revenue.
According to research, there are top 10 benefits of diversity in the workplace:
Variety of different perspectives
Better decision making
Higher employee engagement
Reduced employee turnover
Better company reputation
Improved hiring results.
Check out our INFOGRAPHIC: Top 10 benefits of workplace diversity.
How to build diversity in the workplace?
Workplace diversity starts with hiring. If you want to build diversity in the workplace, you first need to hire diverse candidates.
In order to make that happen, you need to make your recruiting process more inclusive and appealing to people with different characteristics.
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Here are 6 ways to build diversity in the workplace:
1. Leverage diverse job boards
In order to reach more diverse candidates, consider posting your jobs on niche job boards specialized in diversity, such as:
Diversity Working (largest online diversity job board)
Hire Autism (a job board made for individuals on the autism spectrum)
Hire Purpose (a job board for veterans, service members and military spouses)
Recruit Disability (a job board for job seekers who have disabilities)
70 Million Jobs (a job board for candidates who have a criminal record)
2. Offer targeted internships and scholarships
Create and offer internships and scholarships to people from underrepresented groups.
3. Highlight diversity on your career site
Highlight your company’s commitment to diversity on your career site and include a note about it in every job description.
4. Reward diverse referrals
Explicitly ask your existing employees to refer candidates from underrepresented groups in your company. You can also offer additional rewards and bonuses for recommended diverse candidates.
5. Have a diverse interview panel
Including diverse people into your recruiting process will help you uncover unconscious biases and improve the fairness and equality principles of your whole recruitment process.
6. Unconscious bias training for recruiters
Train your recruiters to be more sensitive on biases and help them learn how to avoid bias in recruitment.
How to manage diversity in the workplace?
The only way to successfully manage diversity in the workplace is to incorporate into both your company policies and practices.
Here are 6 ways to do it:
1. Create diversity friendly policies
Review your existing workplace policies with a diversity lens. Develop and implement diversity-friendly and inclusive workplace policies. Offer flexible schedules, leave options, meal choices, recreational activities, etc.
2. Reassess employee benefits
Review your existing employee benefits with a diversity lens as well. Are all your benefits fair to everyone?
3. Provide diversity training
Provide dedicated time and place for discussing diversity topics. Offer diversity training to help your employees learn how to address diversity.
4. Establish diverse mentorships
Establish one on one diverse mentorships. Make each person in the pair serve as a mentor to the other person for an equal amount of time.
5. Build diverse teams
Ensure the diversity of your internal working teams. Create diversified teams and provide them with an opportunity to work together.
6. Measure your efforts
Measure the results of your diversity initiatives to track success and find eventual bottlenecks. Set goals and decide which metrics you want to improve, then track them to see progress.
How to promote diversity in the workplace?
In order to make your workplace truly inclusive, you should constantly work on managing diversity and continuously promote your diversity efforts, both internally and externally.
Here are a few simple ways you can promote diversity in the workplace:
Organize events and activities that celebrate employee differences. Celebrate different holidays and identities.
Give your employees a voice and ask them to write a blog about what diversity in the workplace means to them.
3. Career site
Highlight your company’s commitment to workplace diversity on your career site. Including just one simple sentence could mean a world of difference to a potential diverse candidate!
4. Web and print materials
Feature photos and quotes of diverse people on your online and printed company materials. Make sure to include your own employees and customers.
5. Internal communication channel
Set up an internal communication channel dedicated to the topic of diversity. It could be a column in your company newsletter, Slack channel, forum topic, etc.
Encourage your employees to volunteer in organizations that serve the needs of underrepresented segments of the population. Even better, make it a teambuilding activity!
The rising importance of workplace diversity
Workplace diversity has a significant impact on employees’ engagement and productivity. As a result, workplace diversity has a direct effect on the success of companies.
The importance of workplace diversity is even more amplified in today’s global market. With the help of new technologies, companies are now able to reach people from different groups all over the world. Companies with diversified workforce are able to better understand differences among people around the world, accept and leverage them to sell their products and services on the global market more successfully.
Thus, diversity in the workplace isn’t just a passing fad – it’s a better way to do business in a modern world. Successful employers know that and actively promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Workplace diversity statistics
Here is the list of the top 10 workplace diversity statistics:
67% of job seekers said a diverse workforce is important when considering job offers, according to Glassdoor.
Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, according to McKinsey.
Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, according to McKinsey.
85% of CEOs have said that having a diversified and inclusive workplace population improved their bottom line, according to PwC’s 18th Annual Global Survey.
Companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue., according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market, according to Josh Bersin research.
57% of employees want their company to do more to increase diversity, according to Glassdoor.
Diverse companies are 70% more likely to report that the firm captured a new market, according to Harvard Business Review.
69% of executives rate diversity and inclusion an important issue, according to Deloitte.
83% of millennials are more actively engaged when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture, according to Deloitte.