Last Tuesday I blogged about the meaning of equity, diversity and inclusion and its importance in developing an ethical organization culture. In today’s blog I look at ways to promote EDI.
Recent events have sparked important conversations around racial bias and social injustice, calling upon institutions and organizations to do their part in taking meaningful action. However, new LinkedIn data shows that companies talked about diversity in June 2020, but that discussion began to decline just a few months later. This trend seems to persist and workplace culture changes need to be made to create an ethical organization environment that is free from bias and discrimination, and is a welcoming place for people from all cultures, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientation. Businesses need to take this opportunity to not only continue the conversation, but to implement and uphold more impactful strategies to see real, lasting change within their organization.
In June 2020, employers on LinkedIn spoke about diversity more than any other time in recent memory. As a share of all company posts, coverage of diversity topics more than doubled (2.2x) year-over-year. These messages resonated strongly with employees and candidates: posts about diversity got nearly twice (1.9x) as many engagements as the average company post. This was especially true in North America, where engagement rates on diversity topics were over 2.6x greater than average.
Diversity Digest suggests that implicit attitudes are positive and negative evaluations that are much less accessible to our conscious awareness and/or control. Essentially, they are thoughts and beliefs that shape what we think and how we act, which we are unaware of. Creating self-awareness helps to spot discriminatory practices and adjust automatic patterns of thinking that create bias.
One way to combat bias is through training. Training and awareness on unconscious bias is an important part of any EDI strategy, as is understanding where and how it shows up in practice. The key is to identify the factors that create bias and deal with them in a holistic manner. These patterns of behavior can create a toxic culture if implicit bias is not dealt with.
Ceridian provides a useful perspective on how to promote EDI. What follows is a list of steps to take to promote diversity. Doing so can then help to foster an environment of equity and inclusion.
- Be aware of unconscious bias
- Communicate the importance of managing bias
- Promote pay equity
- Develop a strategic training program
- Acknowledge holidays of all cultures
- Make it easy for your people to participate in employee resource group
- Mix up your teams
- Facilitate ongoing feedback
- Assess company policies
- Track progress over extended periods of time.
Diversity and Inclusion Programs
The Global Diversity and Inclusion Survey published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows some interesting results about diversity & inclusion (D&I) programs that organizations have in place, and their impact on employee experience. As employees, customers, and investors increasingly demand that the organizations they do business with model values of equity and inclusion, organizations are investing at unprecedented rates in D&I programs, with 75% now saying it is a value or priority. In doing so, they hope to not only drive higher engagement with these stakeholders, but enhance financial performance and enable innovation.
However, PwC points out that even though increased attention has been given to such programs, they still have progress to make in designing and executing D&I programs that meet these objectives, with about a third of respondents indicating that they still view diversity as a barrier to progression at their organizations. Similarly, only 4% of organizations are succeeding in key dimensions of successful D&I programming.
The disconnect seems to be a dissonance between what organizations say they are doing versus employee perception it is being done. One reason is that organizations are failing to empower their leaders on topics of D&I.
Creating an environment that promotes EDI is no small task. Organizations not only have to deal with implicit and explicit bias, but they have to ensure that management 'walks the talk' and provides leadership in this area.
Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer at ServiceNow, said it best: "When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become wiser, more inclusive, and better as an organization."
Blog posted by Dr. Steven Mintz, The Ethics Sage, on June 16, 2022. You can sign up for Steve’s newsletter and learn more about his activities on his website (https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/) and by following him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/StevenMintzEthics and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ethicssage.