“Diversity and inclusion” is a hot topic, especially with the divisiveness and racism we see within the leadership of our country.
“Diversity and inclusion” is a hot topic, especially with the divisiveness and racism we see within the leadership of our country. Organizations and companies are quick to say they are strong champions of diversity and inclusion – but how is this measured? Are they really creating equitable spaces or are they all talk? It’s not difficult to tell the difference between organizations and companies that truly invest in creating equitable spaces and those that check off the boxes of diversity and inclusion. We need to hold institutions accountable for ensuring their spaces are equitable. Here’s how to tell if an institution takes diversity and inclusion seriously:
1. Leadership teams – It is one thing to have diverse staff and volunteers, but diverse voices must be in the spaces where decisions are made. This is the number one area in which most organizations and companies fall short. Representation matters. If you don’t have people of color involved in the decision making process, employees of color won’t feel heard or adequately represented.
2. Recruitment efforts – An organization or company can show that it is truly committed to promoting diversity and inclusion through recruitment efforts. For example, if a company only shares job opportunities on LinkedIn, individuals without access to the internet will never see it. Look at the efforts that companies make to recruit in communities of color. Yet another example - if they’re only tabling at job fairs on the north side of town – they won’t reach many people of color. Companies that invest in marketing efforts with hyperlocal newspapers or community-specific correspondence show that they are serious about creating truly inclusive spaces.
3. Policies and procedures – Many organizations and companies have policies that may have explicit or implicit bias against people of color, disabled individuals, etc. An organization or company can show its commitment to diversity and inclusion by removing biased policies and procedures from their workplace culture.
4. Pay – In the year 2019 people are still afraid to talk about pay, but we must. The most important thing an organization or company can do to show their commitment to diversity and inclusion is to provide EQUITABLE pay.
How does your organization or company add up?
It’s time to stop talking about it, it’s time to be about it. Change the narrative. Real diversity and inclusion means advocating for individuals from marginalized communities to have the resources they need in order to thrive in your institution. There’s a saying that people of color must work twice as hard to get half as much.
Real diversity and inclusion proves that saying wrong. It’s your turn to prove it, we’re watching you.