January 24, 2023
Power Up Your DEIB Initiatives
Most leaders of today’s workplace have accepted the challenge of creating a more diverse and equitable organization. Now their question becomes, “How fast can we get there?” The next year will reveal how leaders strive to make space for individuality and also unite their group as one cohesive team. The following are core contributors to effectively fast-track DEIB progress.
It seems that everyone cares about eclectic hiring including non-diverse applicants. In a Deloitte survey, 80% of participants reported that inclusion is important when choosing an employer. Companies making the greatest progress on the DEIB talent front are refining the way they source talent. They’re going to where diverse individuals hang out and reach them with their own semantics. They’re mentioning benefits that matter to each target demographic, which can include more flexible work hours, an inclusive environment, an aggressive growth path, and more. Hiring managers are getting solid referrals from their internally diverse workers and incentivizing them to refer underrepresented candidates. From a PR standpoint, these companies are working hard to promote their DEIB commitment. Leaders are sponsoring diversity groups like the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, WBENC, and National Minority Supplier Development Council, NMSDC. Leaders participate in public discussion around DEIB in the workplace. The marketing and PR engine in DEIB-centric firms put their diverse talent on their website and highlight their stories to attract and inspire diverse job applicants. These efforts go beyond merely checking the box, to building a reliable diverse talent-sourcing process.
Related: Grab our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging Checklist
Women and minority employees have a two-fold challenge with belonging at work. On the one hand, they want to fit in with the group. But they also want to distinguish themselves as exemplary performers. Leaders shape an inclusive and fully supportive environment by giving underrepresented employees the freedom to work with their full selves at the office. Not having to hide their accent or modify their cultural attributes frees up a lot of brain space for the minority worker to stop thinking about how well they fit in and allows them to make their highest contributions. Leaders can comb through each one of their corporate policies to make sure they all bring workers together as well as uphold company standards. Company leaders can prioritize team-building activities for their ability to generate authentic relationships among employees with different backgrounds. As any diverse worker will attest, forced inclusion isn’t inclusion. It’s a wonderful gesture to make “inclusive” a part of the organizational narrative, but companies in 2023 are going further. They’re dedicating time and resources to help their workforces understand and experience for themselves the shared benefits that come when everyone belongs.
Majority workers (still white men) play a big role in speeding up the DEIB results. They’re often the driver of success in companies needing the most change. It takes the people already in a power seat who’re willing to release strongholds that intentionally and more often unintentionally have deterred diverse workers from ascending the professional ladder. White men at work, in leadership and colleague roles, can do a lot when they listen intently to workers with marginalized backgrounds about their needs and identity experience.
White men can become aware of the subtle ways they exclude women and minority employees. They can stop complimenting these employees about their professionalism, or their manner of speaking which are expected professional behaviors for everyone. White male managers can look for and expect high performance from their underrepresented team members. And when performance wanes, they can come alongside their diverse people with a sincere desire to support and develop them. They can find out what barriers may be keeping their diverse team members from fully taking advantage of growth opportunities and remove them. They can also sponsor diverse employees who deserve a promotion.
Historically, managers have promoted women and minority employees less often than their white male counterparts. In today’s workplace, the disparity continues even though efforts are being made to level the playing field. The breakdown often happens in two key areas that leaders can address for measurable results.
Training and development – Women and minority workers can miss out on opportunities to learn and grow professionally. Timing matters as the burden of caring for children often fall on female workers. Participating may take away from earning time, which matters more to lower-income families, many of whom are minorities. Managers may not promote growth opportunities as an important part of an employee’s role, which can deter minority workers concerned about pleasing their superiors. Leaders can retool the way they do training and development in a way that puts every employee on an intentional growth path they can and should access. TaskHuman’s employer-funded mobile coaching platform is one way more diverse employees are getting promotions ready on their own schedule.
Networking – Women and minority employees juggle more than their careers. Family obligations, financial constraints, as well as social norms can hamper the development of strong professional relationships. Managers can help underrepresented employees build business relationships by giving them time on the clock to attend networking events. They can pair diverse employees with a senior-level mentor at the company who may eventually sponsor them for promotion. Companies that hold mandatory team building activities on company time can ensure that diverse individuals in their group participate and get face time with influential senior personnel.
Leaders can help their diverse employees grow their capacity and a professional circle so that promotions become part of their inevitable future.
When companies make real noticeable progress toward being a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable place to work, it calls for a celebration. DEIB initiatives take a lot of hard work and to make sure everyone still has the commitment and energy to see the mission through, it’s important to take note of the accomplishments being made along the way. Celebrate to keep the expectations top of mind, and inspire your team to keep pushing!
TaskHuman can help you power up your DEIB initiatives in 2023. Reach out to learn more.
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