Diversity is the inclusion of different people and ideas. When we talk about workplace diversity and inclusion, we mean an equal representation of people from different backgrounds, cultures, genders, and abilities. Diversity helps create a company culture where everyone is valued and respected.
Companies with diverse management enjoy a 19% increase in revenue when compared to their counterparts. Not only that, gender-diverse teams outperform at a rate of 21% in profitability. (Source: Deloitte)
Introduction: Why Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Matter
According to a Pew Research Center study, it is estimated that by 2065, there will no longer be a single racial or ethnic majority in the U.S.
In addition, gender diversity is also an important component of the workplace. In 2017, a Pew Research survey revealed that over 47% of women have faced workplace discrimination. This is in stark contrast to the results of a Harvard and Princeton study that showed that women were more likely to be hired when applications were submitted anonymously.
Women also earn only 82% of the wages that men earn for the same work. The fact that women will make up 47.2% of the workforce by 2024 (Source: Deloitte) makes it no surprise that gender equality and diversity are important issues.
“Of course, diversity is something that you always have to work at, and while we’re proud of our progress, we know we still have a way to go yet.”
- Nabila Salem, President of Revolent Group
Although DEI programs are becoming common, their impact is yet to be fully known. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, only a small fraction of Fortune 500 companies have published their DEI data. Only 22 companies released the full data on their DEI programs or the racial and ethnic makeup of their workforce.
Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) and its Impact on HR & DEI
The Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) was enacted on July 2, 1964, to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It is a federal law that applies to all employers with more than 15 employees.
The EEOA has been a catalyst in helping companies champion workplace diversity and inclusion. Today, 48 states have an equal pay law in place that bars employers from paying female workers less than their male counterparts for the same work.
However, the bias against hispanic and black workers hasn’t improved much in the past 20 years. Based on the statistics released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 1,889,631 complaints have been filed with the EEOC. Of these, discrimination based on race, disability, and gender made up 34%, 32%, and 30%, respectively.
Workplace Diversity Trends and Examples of DEI in the Workplace
Modern organizations still have a lot of ground to cover when it comes to incorporating meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion into the workplace.
Celebrating Diverse Holidays
Celebrating cultural holidays and events is part of making a diverse team feel accepted
. For instance, Coupon Lawn, a coupon code platform, takes pride in celebrating events like the Gay Pride Parade, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Women’s Day.
“We come together as a team and celebrate these special occasions to show that we support our employees."
- John Howard, CEO of Coupon Lawn
Creating a Buddy System
Organizations might want to take a leaf out of EpicWin App’s book when it comes to making new employees feel welcome no matter their gender, race, or ethnicity. The company has a buddy system that pairs a new employee with a tenured member of the team who then spends the day together. This ensures an inclusive environment and a positive company culture.
Integrating Diversity Into the Product
Sometimes, building DEI into your company culture requires bold steps. Hummii, the healthy snacks and ice-cream startup, encourages employees to contribute towards the company’s products by allowing them to create new flavors that are inspired by their culture. What better way to make inclusion a workplace staple?
Making Recruitment Anonymous
It is no coincidence that women are more likely to be hired when submitting blind applications. This is why anonymous recruiting is the way to go if you want to make DEI a part of your inclusive hiring process.
Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is leading by example. Every resume it receives, it makes anonymous by covering up photos, ages, genders, and names. This allows the organization to make a fair hiring decision and bypass internalized biases.
Investing in L&D for Diverse Employees
Providing equal learning and development opportunities
is the essence of workplace diversity and inclusion. The Product Reviewer, a leading digital platform for product reviews, ensures they include skill development and growth as part of their DEI strategies. By engaging employees
and investing in consistent talent development across the board, the company makes sure they walk the talk when it comes to DEI.
Refining biased AI-algorithms
A discussion on workplace diversity trends would be incomplete without mentioning AI and machine learning algorithms. After all, AI is dominating hiring and recruitment in a big way. However, a Harvard study pinpointed that DEI-driven AI is still in its nascent stage. Facial recognition technologies that discriminate based on skin color have existed not too far in the past. AI algorithms are no different. Resume.io is working to remove AI-based discrimination by retraining its AI to exclude personal information while screening CVs.
"As fundamental as these notions of equality might seem to you, the reality is that we live in a world that is immensely unequal."
- Rashim Mogha, Founder - eWOW
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential components for forward-looking organizations. Beyond the compelling business case, diversity in the workplace is essential to creating a more functional and productive social climate. Organizations must work towards building a company culture that goes beyond mere symbolism. To be able to survive in fast-changing business landscapes, they must embed DEI deep in the organizational DNA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is responsible for the diversity and inclusion strategy?
The implementation of a diversity and inclusion strategy is the responsibility of the company’s leadership in conjunction with HR. They are responsible for setting up the strategy, communicating it, and implementing it.
What steps can be taken to reduce or remove bias in a company?
The best way to reduce or remove bias is to take steps towards awareness and understanding of the biases that exist in your company. HR leaders must then use this information to design DEI strategies and hiring practices that eliminate these concerns.
What are the benefits of a diverse workforce?
A diverse workforce can bring a variety of perspectives to the table. This can lead to an increase in innovation and creativity. It also makes the workplace more inclusive and welcoming for all types of people.