Today I’m covering “Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, in the 86th episode of “Coffee with Jody”.
Let me give you a couple of statistics about Diversity in the workplace. By 2044, the group’s formally seen as minorities will reach majority status. By 2025, which is around the corner, Millennials are predicted to make-up 75% of the workforce. Companies that have Diversity programs in place are 2.3 times higher in cash flow per employee, and companies with diverse boards are 43% more likely to see higher than average profits.
As you can see there’s a real business case for Diversity in the workplace. Imagine sitting around a table and asking your executive or management team, or even your whole team, who do we bring into the organization? What sort of answers do you think that you’d get?
When you look at Inclusion, you might ask, “how do we make them feel welcome when they get here?” That leads to Belonging, which is the felling people have, that they’re safe in that work environment. Diversity is all the different kinds of people that could be in the workplace. Inclusion is how do we bring them in, how we get them on board. And Belonging is how we make them feel safe.
When I look at different companies that I’m working with, there’s a tendency to hire people that are like us. However, Diversity includes Diversity of thought, as well as Diversity of color, Diversity in physical attributes or people with disabilities. It can include people of different cultures and different languages. We find that when there’s a diverse group of people in an organization, they bring different points of view, different life experiences, different education, different constraints that they may have lived with in the past.
Not so long ago people were afraid on some level to have Diversity in the workplace. There were certain prejudices and biases, whether it was against women or it was against the Negro population, or it was against Latins, or it was against LGBTQ+, and because people didn’t have experience with these different bodies of people, they were intimidated.
Questioning, how do I act when I have somebody who’s on the team that’s autistic or somebody on the team who is dealing with a disability. Thank goodness we’ve come a long way in terms of our openness and our willingness to have the kinds of conversations that may have been uncomfortable in the past yet happen today with a little bit more fluidity, even when they’re awkward.
When it comes to Inclusion, what are your practices to ensure that everyone has fair and equal opportunities in the workplace? That you actively speak to these different groups of people throughout your organization so that they know that they’re welcome there. And that you are intentional in your pursuit of including people of diverse backgrounds.
It requires those that are in the employee selection process to check any biases conscious or unconscious that they may have at the door. When they’re in that interview, when they’re doing the orientation and onboarding of those new team members etc.
Then we have to create that Belonging, that Belonging, is a safe environment. To have Belonging at work is going to require education. Sometimes education comes from the kind of HR education, or reading that can happen in an organization, but it can also come from the person who’s considered a little different coming into the organization. By sharing what their experiences have been like. It requires the rest of the people on the team to have an interest in that. And all of this comes from the attitudes and the culture and the beliefs of the leadership team, as well as those who are on the team.
So if you’re interested in creating the kind of workforce that is prepared for the future, that is open, that is Inclusive, that creates a sense of safety for those diverse populations, it’s worth engaging in the conversation to cause that to happen at your place of business.
June is Pride month, and although we don’t have anyone on our team that’s part of the LGBTQ community, I think pride goes further than that. Yes, that was the early start to creating Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, after women of course. That set the stage for the kinds of conversations that have brought us to this point where anyone and everyone has the equal opportunity to work.
And if you’re interested in finding out more about how business coaching can support you in this conversation of diversity, inclusion and belonging, as well as growth and scaling, please go ahead and click on the calendar link below to sign up for a discovery session with me. And we’ll be happy to explore that with you.
That’s it for today.