Intentional Development: Diversity and Inclusion
There’s a lot that can be said about how diverse and inclusive workplaces produce successful results for individuals and teams alike. For team members, knowing their unique personal and cultural backgrounds are embraced and respected can free them to innovate and contribute without fearing judgement. For the bottom line, a diverse and inclusive team will attract skilled individuals from the widest possible talent pool, and give your company valuable insight on new opportunity markets.
But building a diverse and inclusive team is easier said than done, and requires more than basic quotas and checkboxes. With the size of your staff in mind, you could assemble the most diverse group available to you, but still miss out on the benefits if you don’t make diversity and inclusion an integral part of your company’s culture.
First, remember that diversity is about recognizing and honoring our differences, while acknowledging the values that bind us and the goals that bring us together. A diverse workplace honors diversity of age, gender, ethnic background, religion, and modes of thought.
It’s also important to remember that for a company to truly reflect these values, they must be a priority of upper management. I’ve seen too many situations where the value of diversity became the domain of middle managers. Programs, classes, and initiatives all aimed at improving diversity and inclusion can do some good in the short term, but the long-term makeup of the company won’t change without buy-in from leadership.
Think about your company’s policies. Do they honor the diversity in your team?
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