2023 is not even halfway through, but the corporate world has already seen a fair share of challenges ranging from lawsuits, and retention to public callouts, mostly centring around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Even though the DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) concept is not new in the business world, it only started gaining more familiarity and advocacy in recent years.
This is mainly because many employees now understand that working for an organisation that provides great employee well-being incentives and healthy work culture is more vital than ever. As a result, employers have been forced to up their game and ensure that they promote non-toxic working environments, at the same time developing strategies that favour and support diversity in the workplace. Bit by bit, progress is being made in enhancing the DEI concept in the corporate world. However, establishing and sustaining a diverse team in the workplace proves to be a challenge.
To gain more insight into the meaning of diversity, equity and inclusion in the corporate world and the major issues currently surrounding this concept, read through this article. Similarly, if you are an individual seeking to improve DEI in your company or even to find better strategies that can be used to promote and maintain a diverse workplace, then look no further, this article is the right tool for you.
What does diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace mean?
DEI contains three concepts: diversity, equity and inclusion. Diversity in the workplace involves having a diverse workforce with varying cultures, perspectives and talents.
Diversity in the workplace acknowledges the unique backgrounds of employees, such as their race, gender, religion and many others. Equity on the other hand involves getting rid of any barriers that may hinder employees from underrepresented groups from doing their job well. The last part of the DEI program, which is inclusion; aims to aid every employee in the workplace to fit in well, enjoy their working environment and feel valued and appreciated at all times.
What is The Significance of DEI in The Corporate World?
Achieving a diverse workforce is one of the best gifts you can ever give to your organisation. A diverse workforce is very important as they can offer various perspectives based on their diverse cultures and experiences and this will in turn promote the development of innovative ideas and effective problem-solving techniques.
Promoting diversity in the workplace also enhances fairness, peacefulness and an environment where all employees feel appreciated. When employees feel more respected and included, they are highly likely to promote a healthy work culture, as such enhancing employee retention rates and ultimately productivity in the workplace.
Another significance of DEI in the workplace is that it enables the organisation to effectively serve and meet the needs of its diverse client base, courtesy of the diversity of its workforce. As a result, this will improve service delivery, the organisation’s reputation and consequently business growth.
What are Some of The Issues Surrounding DEI in The Workplace?
Below are some of the current issues regarding DEI in organisations:
Various reports show that even though there are plenty of efforts in initiating DEI programs, many organisations fail to properly and consistently track and maintain a culture that supports diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
To enhance their reputations, many businesses have joined in the trend of being transparent about their workforce representation on their websites. This has resulted in many positive changes, as organisations are now keen to do right by their clients and employees to prevent any potential callouts. The only issue that is still not publicised widely is that of disability due to the fear of stigmatism among employees.
Another issue surrounding the effective implementation of DEI programs in organisations is that leadership is sometimes not fully involved in promoting DEI programs in their workplaces. Sometimes organisational leadership may even lack diversity and inclusion, and this may further fuel the failure of DEI programs.
Best Strategies To Improve DEI in The Workplace
Improving DEI in the workplace is not always a walk in the park. To effectively enhance and sustain a diverse workforce in your organisation follow the tips below.
DEI should not just be a temporary tool, it should be practised as part of the work culture. Make sure everyone on the team fully understands and participates in the DEI concept.
Then begin by thoroughly assessing your talent recruiting team to ensure that it is also diverse. The hiring process should not have any possible barriers to DEI such as language barriers and biases to individuals with certain disabilities and those from underrepresented groups. Also, invest in talent and skills development programs to increase the diversity and quality of the workforce.
Establish strategies that promote inclusion in the workplace. One way of doing this is by enhancing good communication and relations between all employees. Moreover, ensure that the team leaders are also engaged and fully committed to promoting a work culture that values and supports diversity, equity and inclusion.
Effective metrics should also be set to help better monitor the progress of the DEI concept in the organisation. The organisation should also be transparent with the DEI program findings as this will help to promote success.
What are some of the challenges associated with promoting diversity in organisations?
Some of the reported challenges include:
- Shortage of proper tools and capital to promote the DEI program.
- Lack of diversity among the organisation leaders.
- Lack of clear metrics.
- Uncommitted leadership.
- Cultural misunderstandings.
What are the recent statistics regarding the familiarity of the DEI concept in the workplace?
A recent General Consumer Trend research report has concluded that only 41% of employees work for a company that offers a DEI program. Moreover, familiarity with the DEI program is higher among the Millennials (58%) as compared to the older generations.
Clients and employees alike now expect the organisations they deal with to value diversity, equity and inclusion. As such it is very important for organisations to ensure that they set up, track and evaluate effective DEI metrics that ensure that the work culture is fully diverse, fair and inclusive. This will go a long way in eliminating any possible DEI issues and at the same time ensuring that every employee feels respected, involved and appreciated in their workplace.