Workplace diversity is one topic which has been written and spoken about over and over again. Due to the amalgamation of various forces at play, this is one topic which is bound to be on the focus of people from the human resources and other management fronts. Everyone just presumes that diversity is one such issue which is at someone else shoulder’s and not yours. This passing of responsibilities of implementing the benefits for the diverse group of people is something not worth appreciating.
The Big Question: The Ball. The Court. Where is what?
Everybody knows how diversity is good for the workplace and the business bottom-line. Then, why does inclusion seem a task done half-heartedly? The improvement in political turmoil is in the hands of a few. But behavioral change has to be conditioned today. The challenge seems to be a complete lack of ‘diversity-literacy.’
Most of the HR professionals are uninitiated to the deep psychological understanding of the consequences of diversity principals and social responsibility. The significance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) appears hollow. It is never a part of their education and even while growing-up professionally. It leaves a lacuna which they find it hard to jump when suddenly one fine day they are in the top C-suite seat of chief of human resources.
The Conversation Starters
The organizations need to bring change-advocates by the way of chief of human resources on board to leverage their influencing power. For the mentoring programs, mixing-up individuals from the diverse group as well as the dominant groups is a great growth strategy. Big data and analytics also help.
The report called Diversity Matters by Mckinsey detailed out how the companies ranking for ethnic diversity in the top quartile perform better than those which are in the bottom quartile by a margin of 35%. There is no clear expert agreement on the practices which when adhered to can work miracles for the diversity issues.
One thing clearly agreed upon from all corners of the business world is that the change has to begin from the top. A Deloitte report claimed 39% companies see diversity as a competitive advantage with 71% affirming they rank themselves higher in inclusiveness. 38% executives agree to the major responsibility of the CEO and other top people in leadership and management responsibilities in bringing diversity into the workplace. There is an unconscious bias of the majority at underplay. It can be removed by bringing the dominant group on board.
Why the conversation can’t start in small steps throughout the professional life of talent managers and not kept aside until they are in reins of people’s future and leadership and management roles? Why can’t the certifications for HR practitioners and chief of human resources prove their credentials of how better they understand diversity and psychology? We talk about emotional intelligence, empathy, employee engagement– then why not our curriculum speak loudly about the elephant in the room and the need to identify it?