Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

Diversity can be a sensitive matter to discuss, but one that needs to be addressed. Here are some practical tips on how to prevent racism in the workplace.

In today’s world climate, with frequent protests advocating for systemic change and demanding consequences for racist abuse of power in our penal system, it is only right to discuss the role diversity plays in our daily lives, such as the workplace. Although topics of race and diversity can be sensitive to touch on, they are imperative, now more than ever to discuss.


Diversity in Important.

Diversity in the workplace is important and should be the standard for all businesses. One uniform race working most of the positions in a company can only demonstrate a small number of narratives or perspectives respective to the work you’re conducting. From a business outlook, racial diversity in the workplace isn’t just “nice to have”, it is a must-have if you want to be a competitive player in corporate America. From an internal outlook, lack of diversity in the workplace can be seen as archaic and non-progressive. No one wants to be the token person of color in the workplace amongst their peers, and this can reflect poorly on your business.


Racial Diversity Expands Talent Pool, Skillsets

Employing people of many different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as different ages and genders, can only diversify the perspectives reflected in your company. Racial diversity expands the talent pool, skillsets, and experience brought to the company’s metaphorical table and allow for broader perspectives and solutions to problems. Diverse workplaces also bring better understandings of diverse markets which can be useful in any regard. Broader talent pools consisting of people of all ethnicities, genders, and ages can also attract and encourage creative minds and bring forth new innovations to the company that may not have been explored prior. Culturally diverse workplaces also help to build trust within a wider target market of customers or clients, because others can see that you entrust people of different racial identities to make big waves in your company. Not to mention, a diverse workplace improves employee engagement, being that the company demonstrates an understanding and level of respect for diversity. There are also many customers who seek to support companies who are inclusive and diverse, and from a business standpoint, diversity can net your company greater profits. Basically, there are few downsides to diversifying the workplace. It can only bring about positive, progressive change, and allow for your company to prove to the public that they care about, and respect, people of any and all races, genders, ages, and identities.


Why Diversity in Important, Especially Today

As we see in America today, there are vast issues plaguing race and diversity. There are many narratives that seek to dissuade companies from prioritizing diversity, and impose racist ideals that don’t get anyone anywhere. Respective to the workplace, there can be some issues with integrating people of various racial backgrounds into the workplace. As we shift into 2021, people must realize that America was built on the backs of people of color and everyone deserves a shot at making a splash in corporate America if they so choose. Some of the issues identified that may plague diversity in the workplace are aspects like acceptance and respect. Sharing an understanding and maintaining a level of respect for your peers is imperative for teamwork and accomplishing company goals. As a company, you should take it upon yourself to emphasize just how important acceptance and respect are in the workplace, regardless of race, gender, or age, and that respecting each other can bring about innovative ideas and collaboration. One of the more blatant, and sad, realities of the workplace that can hinder diversity is that people still do obtain biases and prejudices towards people of particular racial backgrounds, religions, genders, or ages. Discrimination in the workplace should never be tolerated and as a company, it is your duty to diligently uphold that standard. Ensure that your internal policies have clear and concise objectives and regulations regarding prejudices and discrimination, and identify plainly that it won’t be tolerated within your company.


Understanding Our Prejudices, Avoiding Discrimination

As we grow up, we are undoubtedly exposed to prejudices and discrimination at the expense of other people, and it is vital to unlearn those biases and behaviors. By improving your standards, you can provide solutions to workplace discrimination and overall, bring about a safer work environment for everyone. There are several attitudes towards women in the workplace that should never be tolerated, and companies need to do their part to prevent, as well as protect, those who are more at risk of being inflicted with unkind words and/or behaviors. It is also your responsibility as business owners to actively seek out and hire more women in high positions, especially women of color. The same can be said about anyone who belongs to various ethnic, cultural, or religious backgrounds. There needs to be policies in place, as well as consequences to breaking those policies, that are explicitly stated within your company’s business model in order to take affirmative action to protect those who may feel unsafe at work. Again, it is also imperative that you not only hire, but seek out, people of various backgrounds in order to diversify your workspace and allow for inclusion to take place. Promoting inclusion and diversion is not only important, but essential, for businesses as we step into the future. We can no longer hide behind old policies and quotas for the reason why your company isn’t advancing in regards to workplace diversity. It is everyone’s job to ensure the safety of each other, bring about positive change, and encourage, as well as accept, workplace diversity.

The best way to change your perspective and sustain diversity in the workplace is to get to know your colleagues or employees on a personal level. Work to build an understanding and appreciation for people of all backgrounds by simply getting to know them, regardless of their background or culture. Getting to know someone on a deeper level creates a common ground and deepens your connection despite of differences. This can help to embrace inclusivity and promote a more welcoming, safer environment for everyone involved.