Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Author: Sharon E. Jones, Jones Diversity Group

Summary

  • Diversity and inclusion initiatives differ from antidiscrimination measures. Antidiscrimination measures focus on the minimum requirements of the law. Diversity and inclusion initiatives, however, have a broader focus. See Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives and Antidiscrimination Measures.
  • Developing a business case for diversity and inclusion will involve designing arguments that help senior management (and others) see the value of diversity and inclusion initiatives. HR's business case for diversity and inclusion should emphasize how these initiatives impact the employer's bottom line (i.e., HR should be able to convey a profit motive). See Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Diversity and inclusion initiatives begin with a strategic plan based on the initiatives' metrics, baselines and benchmarks. See Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.
  • Strategic recruiting and outreach efforts are important to increasing workplace diversity. See Recruiting and Outreach.
  • An employer's promotion and advancement process should be transparent. That is not only best practice, but also may increase the number of diverse employees represented in leadership roles. Diverse employees who understand the advancement process are in a better position to navigate it. See Succession Planning.
  • Mentoring initiatives and employee resource groups (ERGs) can be effective strategies for reducing unwanted attrition and feelings of isolation on the part of diverse employees. See Affinity Groups and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
  • Diversity training is an essential component of any diversity and inclusion initiative. To build multicultural competencies over time, training should be interactive and employers should take a multiyear approach. See Education and Training.
  • Generational issues, globalization and religious accommodation are emerging issues in diversity and inclusion. See Emerging Issues in Diversity and Inclusion.