Whether it is in the workplace or for marketing campaigns, diversity and inclusion continue to be a hot topic. On the RED Half Hour Show, millions tuned in while panelists from BBC Global News, Tik Tok, and OMD EMEA explained what diversity meant to each of them. However, the truth is that they were only the latest addition to a string of news outlets and businesses focusing on what diversity looks like.
McKinsey’s 2020 Report reaffirmed the case for both gender and cultural diversity in the workplace while companies like General Motors, Salesforce, and Apple have pledged millions to ramp up their efforts in the area. It comes with good reason too. From improved productivity to improving your management skills in the workplace, making an effort to promote diversity in and out of the workplace can pay off in more ways than one.
1. Don’t Shy Away Or Ignore The Difference, Embrace Them
The common misconception about diversity and inclusion in the workplace is that there are no differences. However, the point of promoting diversity and inclusion centers around embracing the differences and points of view that everyone brings.
To do this, you must first be comfortable acknowledging and embracing the differences. Workers, friends, and acquaintances are different from each other and it is okay to acknowledge that- respectfully. Remember that learning about diversity is also a continuous process. For instance, your colleagues at work will be continuously changing and therefore, you must be open to continuously learning about the changing dynamics.
2. Help To Promote A Safe Space For Colleagues At Work
There is no denying that workplaces in America are diverse. According to past estimates, 13 percent of the workforce are African Americans while the Hispanic population accounts for 18 percent. Having a truly inclusive population in the office often means embracing the differences that come with having diverse colleagues and fostering a space where they feel comfortable showcasing their cultural and professional backgrounds.
If you are an entrepreneur or budding entrepreneur, educate yourself on ideal practices to promote diversity in your business. For instance, diversity in VC and other organizations can help with an initial assessment of your current D&I program and a pathway to raising funds to invest.
For managers, this can take the shape of implementing flexible mandatory holidays to accommodate differing religions, regional celebrations, and cultures. According to Syed Balkhi of WPBeginner, this means they can attend the events that are important to them. It is also important to encourage tolerance and respect in your workforce. As an employee, you can do this by asking about their background and being open to learning about their differing cultures.
3. Kick Start The Diversity Conversation With Your Children
Finally, bring your efforts to promote diversity to your inner circle- your home. The best way to do this is to illustrate an attitude of being open to something new. Children imitate actions by adults. If they see you embracing and positively speaking about the diversity that surrounds us all, they are more likely to do the same as well.
Whether it is incorporating a weekly dinner from around the world or encouraging diversity on family vacations by visiting different countries, feel free to make it unique to your family. Don’t forget to have conversations when you do these activities with your children. Ask them what they like most about the dish or country and use it as a catalyst to kickstart conversations.
Whether it is in the workplace or at home, promoting diversity can have incredible benefits. Widening your horizons, encouraging tolerance as a population, and even improving your business’ bottom line is just a few. However, for diversity to truly become the norm we must all do our part- starting with one small step.