Why Diversity & Inclusion Are Important In the Workplace

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On July 14, 2021 we hosted our "How Everyone has a Part to Play in Diversity & Inclusion” webinar, which featured a conversation about how businesses can push for workplace diversity and nurture a more inclusive company culture, and why it’s worth pursuing for both companies and employees. You can watch the recording here.

During the event, thought leaders from different industries shared their experience with pushing for greater inclusivity at their organizations and what strategies worked best for them.  The event’s three main topics included how has the topic and importance of diversity and inclusive hiring changed over the years, strategies that ensure fair hiring practices, and how companies can create a more inclusive culture.

1- The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Hiring

Businesses embracing diversity are those accepting people from different races, ethnicities, ages, gender, religion/spiritual beliefs, sexual orientations, and backgrounds. Ideally, the sentiment should be embedded within their talent acquisition process and company culture to make sure new and existing employees feel a sense of belonging, no matter their background. 

Consumers, job applicants, and employees increasingly expect diversity and inclusion within the brands they engage with and the companies they work for. Businesses that don’t prioritize inclusivity are putting themselves at a disadvantage, which may cause them to miss out on skilled candidates and have a weaker company brand image. 

Greater diversity and inclusion provide both businesses and employees with several advantages, including:

1. Increased Profitability

Studies show that more inclusive companies are more likely to generate more revenue than those that don’t. Companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity within their executive team are 25% more likely to realize above-average financial returns.  

2. Greater Employee Engagement and Retention

Businesses with more inclusive company cultures are more appealing to candidates from diverse backgrounds, reducing turnover and creating a workplace environment where workers feel valued. 

3. Better Innovation

Companies that bring in candidates from different backgrounds gain access to unique perspectives, expertise, and skill sets that help guide business growth objectives. 

4. Wider Talent Pool

Companies that limit the types of candidates they source may miss out on top talent. Hiring teams focusing on diversity recruitment can pull from a wider pool of diverse talent and bring in more qualified applicants. 

Related Reading: 4 Reasons to Partner With a Staffing Agency Focused on Diversity Recruitment 

 

2- Strategies That Ensure Fair Hiring Practices

Now more than ever, recruiting teams are looking beyond their traditional pools of candidates to find talent with unique experience and skill sets. Human resources professionals are also looking for ways to remove exclusionary barriers for job candidates, such as with background checks, degree requirements, and other qualifications that disproportionately discourage certain types of applicants.  

Top strategies that hiring teams can use to help ensure fair recruitment practices include: 

  • Looking for and addressing potential sources of unconscious bias in website or job description copy that can exclude applicants from certain backgrounds (For example: “man” in a job title, such as with “chairman”).
  • Removing or revamping job requirements that exclude certain candidates (such as specific types of degrees or educational backgrounds over other indicators of understanding) 
  • Analyzing hiring metrics on the diversity representation by job title frequently and setting goals to be more inclusive for those roles  

Related Reading: 4 Strategies to Write Inclusive Job Descriptions

 

3- How to Create a More Inclusive Company Culture

One major challenge for businesses promoting diversity is developing and implementing strategies to push out this DEI initiatives. Organizations that nurture a more inclusive company culture attract and retain workers better and provide all team members with a sense of belonging and a place where they feel valued.

While any team member can advocate for more diversity at their organization, the sentiment should be embraced by everyone at every level to drive the most results. Human resources and talent acquisition teams are uniquely positioned to make the case for more inclusivity because they have a direct hand in the hiring and onboarding process and have access to metrics on candidate diversity representation. 

Strategies to nurture a most inclusive company culture that embraces people from every background include:

  • Educating leadership teams and team members on the importance of diversity within the workforce, such as increased employee engagement and stronger company brand
  • Implement inclusive workplace policies, such as allowing employees to take off work for religious or cultural holidays that were not previously recognized and establishing mentorship programs to help integrate new hires and ensure they can develop themselves professionally
  • Requiring company-wide diversity training
  • Establishing a process where workers feel comfortable to come forward with any concerns about how they are treated at work

While all progress is good progress, businesses shouldn’t stop after reaching one hiring or workplace goal for increased diversity, equity, and inclusion—it should become an ongoing effort integrated within their company culture. 

 

Watch the Webinar

Learn more about the critical role of diversity and hear real-world strategies for workplace inclusivity by watching the recorded webinar here.

Written by Shawn Connelly

Shawn Connelly

Shawn joined Sparks Group in 2006 and serves as the resident marketing manager, web administrator, proposal writer, Excel guru, blogger, social media coordinator, and fantasy football commissioner.

View all posts by: Shawn Connelly

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