Often organisations have high-level policies for diversity and inclusion, but what is needed is practical support for those building and managing teams. Practical, useful and balanced information and support around diversity and inclusion are what is required.
What is Diversity and Inclusion?
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) refer to the policies, programs, and inclusive environment that encourages the representation and involvement of diverse groups of people within an organisation. The words “diversity” and “inclusion” are two parts of the same strategy:
Diversity: The traits and characteristics that make people unique, such as age, gender, ability, culture, nationality, personality, education, and ethnicity.
Inclusion: Equitable access to resources and opportunities to cultivate an environment where behaviours and social norms make people feel welcome and respected.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I): Creating a company culture with an inclusive, productive, and aspiring workforce values and appreciates every employee and enables them to express their ideas toward common goals.
How to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Focusing on results is the diversity challenge; there is no silver bullet. No single solution. Yet, in pushing ourselves to think outside the box and draw on the best empirical evidence that exists, the convening participants identified promising areas where investment, focus, and experimentation can serve as significant engines of change.
Based on a report titled “What Works? Evidence-Based Ideas to Increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace.” We list five key insights that can serve as tools for those looking to make their workplaces more diverse, more thriving places.
1. Collect, Count, and Compare.
Set goals, collect data, and examine change over time and in comparison to other organisations.
2. Deploy Alternative Complaint Systems.
Approximately half of all discrimination and harassment complaints lead to some retaliation. The key to this shift is changing leadership mindsets from seeing complaints as threats to valuing them as insights that can spark positive organisational change.
3. Test for Biased Technology.
Companies need to proactively test new technologies for disparate impacts on workers before they go into the field and audit their procedures after implementation to ensure that biases are not creeping in.
4. Beware of the Small-N Problem.
When possible, for example, instead of hiring for a sales associate position in the winter, another in the spring, and then another in summer, companies could hire for all three sales associates simultaneously. This type of architecture for decision-making creates less bias base on the small numbers problem.
5. Involve Managers from the Start.
The organisational context matters must consider how to increase diversity, equity and inclusion.
As the common goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion become even more widespread, companies have the daunting task of figuring out what works. These five strategies — while far from comprehensive — offer an evidence-based place to start. From counting, collecting, and comparing to accounting for complex organisational contexts, progress is possible.
Why is diversity and inclusion important?
Fundamentally, there is a war for talent; competition is intense, demand continues to outstrip supply, and attracting and retaining talent from the broadest pool possible is key to remain competitive.
Further supporting reasons for why diversity and inclusion are so important are:
- Competitive advantage – ethnically diverse companies are more likely to outperform their industry peers financially.
- Improved attraction & reputation – diversity is an essential factor for candidates when looking for a new job.
- A broader talent pool – minimising this pool's size at the hiring stage, could risk missing out on the right candidate and narrowing the field of creativity, productivity, and innovation that can come from diversity.
- Increased creativity, productivity, & innovation – inclusive companies are more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.
- Better relationships with clients – demonstrating diverse work practices and culture will better reflect the focus of other companies in the market, add depth to your client relationships and help you better serve their business needs.
- Bottom line profits – Alongside all of these benefits is perhaps the main one: the overall positive impact on the bottom line with companies with diverse leadership teams tends to produce more revenue.
Diversity and inclusion jobs
You see an increasing number of roles within the diversity and inclusion function. Positions ranging from D&I consultant, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Business Partner are now available for many sectors. The d&i Leader website seems to be the best niche website around at the moment.
When it comes to the nuclear industry, this is no different - in fact, even more so due to the nuclear business's recent commitments. We at Get Into Nuclear have pledged that 10% of our revenue gained from the annual package that we provide to nuclear companies will go to Inclusion & Diversity in Nuclear.
IDN are complementing the great work and initiatives that are already happening in the sector. They provide support and enablement at an industry and national level.