Diversity is a wild primitive state untouched by civilization. In fact, the survival of the human race ultimately depends on it. Imagine being surrounded by people who are exactly like you. How easy would it be for a minor disease to completely efface humankind? Quite easy, right!
But here's a kicker! How much ever diversity, inclusion, and equity sound appealing, it really isn't at the organizational level. The 2018 Women in Workplace Report by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org pulled out striking facts. The vast majority of the companies included in this report emphasized the need for gender diversity as their top priority. The report further highlighted the need for implementing fair hirings and promotional practices that correct for biases. It additionally placed a spotlight on actively working to build an inclusive and respectful culture.
This clearly states that the diverse representation in the corporate world isn't improving in leaps and bounds. Instead, it is not even improving in leaps and bounds.
In order to address this age-old question and bring about institutional change, this article reflects on the various reasons to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion and how they are playing a significant role in creating a massive impact on businesses in the short and long term.
Below are some tips for building an effective DEI strategy:
First and Foremost, Conduct Pay Equity Reviews
Even though a majority of countries have worked on implementing the Equal Pay Act for many years, the wage gap has continued in 2022. This pay disparity is even more prominent among Blacks and Latin women with respect to the average salary of Caucasian men. As the wage gap is systemic, pay audits can be a very effective tool in the pursuit of pay equity.
Hence, organizations should focus on pay reviews of the employees and ensure pay parity. Quick actions must be taken to identify these gaps and fill them through the pay structures.
Creating a Robust Mentorship Program
When it comes to inclusion, underrepresented employees can face challenges in their career progression. Under the guidance of a mentor, employees can minimize these challenges and make progress toward leadership positions.
Forming a strategy that revolves around the different types of mentorships; Reverse mentoring, Career mentoring, Buddy programs, and mentoring circles can help align with the overall objective of the DEI strategy of the organization.
Ensuring Benefits and Programs are Inclusive
A number of organizations have successfully established a diverse workforce. However, the practice of including the workforce in all segments of work still remains an unaddressed issue. Not to sideline, there are seemingly innocuous practices that make employees feel alien or unwelcomed.
Hence, it is imperative for every organization to structure its inclusive plan and make sure that the benefits and programs run by the organization are all-inclusive irrespective of gender, creed, and ethnicity of the employees.
Setting up of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Employee Resource Groups are voluntary groups led by employees themselves who aim to foster a diverse and equitable workplace aligned to their respective organizations. The function of this group is to provide personal or career development and create a space where the employees get an opportunity to the table without bring their whole selves to the table without any filters.
The organizations' top leadership should participate and leverage them to support the organization.
Scrutinizing Board and Executive Team Members
Organizational and boardroom diversity, especially in the context of women's representation, has been a top of discussion for more than two decades now. For the first time in 2003, Norway introduced a 40% gender quota for women's representation on corporate boards in the country.
Such a composition of board and executives helps mirror the diversity of the geographical areas.
Making Leaders Accountable
Any DEI strategy that an organization follows will only work if there is a space for accountability and transparency within the organization. Most employees look up to their leaders for guidance, but they will only believe them if they are mentors as well as changemakers for the organization.
On A Final Note
It is time and again proven that the organizations that follow DEI strategies are innovative and thriving because of the comprehensive perspective they bring to the table. This is not just word of mouth but rather a strategically proven fact.
Corporates and organizations of all companies need to invest in DEI not because it is the right thing to do but rather because that's how they will create success in the future.
Even though organizations differ in nature, they do have commonalities; selecting the right strategies mentioned above will help them move a long way towards the path of progress. DEI is not just strategies but a rather a journey to grow and change- individually, nationally, and globally. It is not just a box to check but a way to operate, and it will require planning, commitment, and an open, inclusive mindset.