SHE Matters

(S.H.E. Matters) Creating an Inclusive Workplace: 5 Best Practices for Promoting Diversity and Equality

Diversity and inclusion is a critical aspect of any workplace. Employers have a responsibility to create an environment that emphasizes inclusion, diversity, and equity in all aspects of the organization.

The benefits of having a diverse team are significant and go far beyond inclusion and fairness; it creates an environment that fosters innovation and creativity through the collaboration of different perspectives and ideas.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the best practices for promoting diversity and equality in your workplace.

#1 — Develop a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan

Creating an effective Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) plan is the first step toward building a more inclusive workplace. Developing a comprehensive and data-driven DEI plan requires a thorough assessment of your organization’s current diversity landscape.

Overall, it involves creating a long-term strategy that encompasses current and future initiatives within the organization.

This plan should focus on creating an inclusive workplace by identifying diverse talent, providing employee education, and creating an environment that encourages innovation and creativity through diversity.

#2 — Address Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is a type of bias that is inherent in the human psyche.

In this case, “Unconscious gender bias is defined as unintentional and automatic mental associations based on gender, stemming from traditions, norms, values, culture and/or experience,” the International Labour Organization (ILO) explains. “Automatic associations feed into decision-making, enabling a quick assessment of an individual according to gender and gender stereotypes.”

Addressing the hidden unconscious biases is one of the best practices for promoting diversity and inclusion objectives in the workplace. Employees need to undergo continuous training on recognizing, identifying, and addressing these biases in the workplace to ensure equal opportunity for all employees.

#3 — Foster a Culture of Inclusivity

To create a culture of inclusivity that values and incorporates diverse perspectives, it is essential to prioritize inclusivity as a shared value in all aspects of the organization.

Make sure to integrate policies that are sensitive to the diversity of your workforce.

For example, you may include flexible work arrangements, equal pay for equal work, and maternity and paternity leave, among other policies. This helps to attract, retain and promote diverse talent within the organization.

#4 — Promote Career Advancements Opportunities

To create a culture that values diversity, it is essential to provide equal opportunities for all employees — regardless of gender — to advance their careers. This helps to encourage engagement and promotes diversity throughout the organization.

Simply put, the inclusion of a range of employees at the executive and senior management levels can help promote an inclusive environment at every level of the work environment. In some cases, instituting blind screening processes may help even the playing field.

“By hiding certain characteristics like age, gender, ethnicity, or level of education, you can remove the different cognitive biases that creep up when reading a resume,” Glassdoor explains. “Blind hiring helps us eliminate some of the initial preconceived notions that we might have about candidates (e.g. the candidate’s names) and helps us focus on the applicant’s qualifications and skills.”

#5 — Be Accountable

It is critical for organizations to promote accountability in creating a diverse and inclusive work environment. Data-driven measurements or system assessments should be conducted regularly to ensure that the organization is meeting its intended objectives.

This measurement will help identify the progress of the organization and highlight areas that require improvement. The feedback must be transparent, and corrective action should be taken when teams fail to meet diversity objectives.

When all is said and done, creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is about more than just promoting diversity and equity; it’s about fostering innovation and creating an environment that attracts, retains, and develops diverse talent.

But what do you think? Do you lead or work for a workplace that has implemented any or all of the aforementioned strategies? We’d love to hear from you!

Please reach out to us or visit our S.H.E. Matters page to send in a submission for our review, and stay tuned here for more information!