Managing diversity and inclusion in the workplace is, in many ways, an unmapped territory.
I have listed 5 initiatives I believe may be the key to building a more inclusive workplace:
1. Recognize the Shift in Global Understanding of Diverstiy and Inclusion: Diversity today means more than race and gender. There’s growing significance placed on creating environments where a variety of different voices are encouraged and heard. These voices come from people who may or may not be of the same gender, race, or ethnicity. Diversity in the workplace today can include some of the following:
2. Build an Inclusive Environment: It has become important to create environments where all people are encouraged to draw upon their unique experiences, perspectives and backgrounds to advance business goals. To achieve this in a global work setting, it’s crucial to employ effective communication and training efforts.
3. Use Multiple Practices and Measures: Diversity and inclusion should not be treated as a ‘one-off’ initiative. Many leaders struggle with how to manage workplace diversity. Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a constant work in progress, and it should be maintained and nurtured to be effective. Any company should have solutions in place to monitor and retain a talented and diverse workforce, such as any of the following:
-Employee resource groups
-Multicultural talent management
-Strategic partnership development
4. Ensure Leaders Model Diversity and Inclusion: It is critical that senior leadership model diversity and inclusion. When senior leaders own D&I and make themselves a part of the diversity and inclusion management process, it sets the tone for the rest of the organization to follow suit.
5. Recognize the Connection Between Innovation and D&I: Perhaps the most significant lesson is that diversity and inclusion spark innovation. This includes leveraging cognitive diversity to drive innovation as a D&I principle.
The World Health Organization reports 1 in 5 people have disabilities, and only 1 in 10 of people that need it have access to assistive technology. Disability is part of the fabric of society, and technology can help to bridge the gap between the individual and the working environment.
Download this free 3-page evaluation on accessibility as a framework: