In recent years, organizations have turned their human resource energies to enhancing workforce diversity, fostering inclusive workplace cultures and addressing systemic barriers to employment equity. These efforts are simply the right thing to do, and they also reflect leaders’ growing appreciation that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts enhance organizational success. From being able to attract and retain talent, to being more able to innovate and problem-solve, the benefits are plentiful.
The issue of racism and ongoing oppression of minority groups is well documented. Leadership must recognize their unconscious and implicit biases to begin to help organizations become inclusive. Leaders who are engaged will recognize inequities and will also recognize bias as well as disrespect and incivility. By addressing these issues through education and formal programs, leaders will help foster the development of others in overcoming historic barriers to both employment and customer service.
Think of the last time you questioned how much you trust yourself – to make a tough decision on your own, to initiate a tough conversation, to admit you were wrong, to learn something new, or to simply be honest with yourself? Exploring your self-trust is what I call “inner work”, and it is foundational to your contribution to addressing one of the most critical forces of our time – creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) workplace.
With recent social movements and the emergence of complex and highly profiled workplace conflicts, there has been increased awareness of organizations’ responsibility to foster safe, diverse and inclusive workplaces. Organizations large and small have taken action to strategically learn about and implement inclusive policies and practices in order to both enhance employee engagement and foster positive organizational culture.
Prioritizing diversity and inclusion efforts has immeasurable value. Workforces that have diversity of thought, perspectives and ideas are better able to solve problems creatively and collaboratively, and diverse and inclusive organization are more likely to achieve their goals.