An Organization’s Checklist for Diversity
Creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace is not only an organizations duty to their community, but it also offers organizational opportunities such as improved employee engagement, retention, and productivity. To create an inclusive culture, leaders need to have a clear understanding of the current state of their company’s diversity and inclusion efforts and identify areas for improvement.
In this article, we will provide a checklist that organizational leaders can use to determine their strengths and weaknesses, and guide them in making progress toward a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Let’s Create a Diverse Workforce
Where Do You Currently Stand?
Understanding the makeup of your current demographic is essential. Conducting an optional self-identification survey can provide valuable insights into the current diversity of the organization. This allows for a comprehensive understanding of the diversity of the workforce as a whole and how it is distributed among different levels of the organization. It is important to consider what the representation of diverse groups looks like across the board but more so at higher levels in the organization. For example, how is diversity distributed in leadership positions, or high-potential and high-growth positions within your organization? This offers the opportunity to reveal patterns of underrepresentation and bias in recruitment, retention, and promotion.
Additionally, organizations should consider conducting an external benchmarking study of their industry to gain a macro-level understanding of demographic factors prevalent in their field. By comparing their internal diversity data to industry benchmarks, organizations can identify current gaps. For instance, if a tech company finds that the industry benchmark for women in leadership is 20%, and their own representation is lower, they can focus on closing that gap as a starting point. This approach allows organizations to tailor their diversity strategy more effectively.
Organizations commonly focus on demographic points such as race, gender, age. Religion and disability status, but it is imperative to remember that these demographic points should only be a starting point. As the organization progresses on their diversity journey, they should also explore dimensions such as cultural diversity (socio-economic status, educational background) and workplace diversity (cognitive thinking, experience, and background). This broader perspective enables organizations to foster an inclusive environment.
Dive Into the Hiring Process
Sourcing of Candidates
This includes where the organization looks for candidates and the methods used to attract them. The talent team should be responsible for ensuring that recruitment efforts reach candidates from diverse backgrounds and that outreach efforts are inclusive and not biased.
Additionally, the use of unbiased language in job postings is an important factor to consider. Job postings should be written in an inclusive language, avoiding bias, stereotypes, or discriminatory language that might discourage certain groups of people from applying.
Composition of Interview Panels
It is important to ensure that the panel members are from diverse backgrounds and best reflect the community; this can help in preventing unconscious bias from creeping into the interview process as well as providing different perspectives on candidates.
Employee Engagement and Retention
Employee engagement and retention are important indicators of a healthy and inclusive workplace. In order to measure employee engagement and retention among diverse employees, organizations should track engagement and satisfaction levels, as well as turnover rates. Measuring employee engagement and satisfaction can involve:
Encourage Inclusion and Belonging
Examine a Variety of Practices
Your Organization’s Policies
Organizational policies and practices play a critical role in creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Reviewing and evaluating these policies and practices can help to ensure that they are inclusive and effective in promoting diversity and inclusion.
One key area to review are policies and practices related to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. These policies should be clearly outlined and communicated to all employees, and they should include procedures for reporting and addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
Additionally, all organizations should also have a process for investigating and addressing such incidents and ensure that it is not only accessible, but employees feel safe and comfortable in reporting any incidents.
An important aspect to review is the organization’s code of conduct. This document should outline the organization’s values and expectations for behavior and should be inclusive and non-discriminatory. The code of conduct should also address how the organization will respond to any behavior that is in violation of the code.
The organization should also review its leave policies and benefits, such as parental leave, family leave, and time off for religious observances, and ensure that they are inclusive and accommodating for all employees, regardless of their backgrounds.
In conclusion, we recommend that organizations start by understanding their current demographics and benchmarking against others. Identifying and working towards closing these opportunity gaps is a great way to start your organizational diversity and inclusion journey.
The internal checklist presented in this article provides a guide for leaders to determine their strengths and weaknesses in achieving diversity and inclusion goals. By using the checklist to conduct a self-evaluation and identify areas for improvement, leaders can take steps to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace.
It is important to note that becoming an inclusive organization is not a one-time event or a simple box-checking exercise, it requires continued effort and commitment from both leadership and employees. Thus, it is essential to establish and nurture a culture of inclusion that supports the goal of a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Regularly revisiting and revising the checklist can be useful in tracking progress over time.