Studies show a strong commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion is now one of the first things candidates look for in an employer. With the war for talent getting fiercer, you need to be able to demonstrate that commitment. Here’s how.
Be honest about your gender pay gap
If there’s a gender pay gap in your organisation, being open about it will win you trust and respect. It demonstrates that you genuinely care about pay equality and are committed to achieving it. Try publishing a pay gap analysis report, equalising performance-related pay reviews, and/or including salaries in job postings.
Be aware of unconscious bias
To make your hiring practices genuinely diverse, you need to counteract unconscious bias by using a variety of interviewing styles, making data-driven decisions, removing explicitly and implicitly gendered language from job ads, and advertising on diversity-focused job boards.
Acknowledge cultural differences and holidays
Inclusion is as important as diversity. It’s about making diverse employees feel valued: take a flexible approach to holidays, and give people time off for important cultural and religious occasions. You’ll find it boosts your employee retention.
Encourage employee feedback
Encourage your employees to give you frequent feedback on how inclusive you’re really being – and be inclusive when asking for this feedback by offering people different ways to give it, like in conversation or via an anonymous survey.
Create a multigenerational workforce
Ageism is an often-overlooked form of prejudice. For example, the tech industry tends to promote millennials over older workers because of a biased assumption that they can’t keep up with innovation. Build a more diverse workforce by hiring people from different generations, and you’ll get the benefit of their diverse worldviews, ways of working and life experience.
Create strong anti-discrimination policies
If you want your employees to report discrimination, you need to make them feel safe to do so by creating and enforcing strong anti-discrimination policies – and making sure they’re accessible (for example, having braille and audio versions).
Get involved in events like Black History Month, International Women’s Day and Pride, consider offering multicultural prayer or meditation spaces, and try hosting lunch events where employees can share foods from their different cultures.
Show you’re committed to including people of all genders by encouraging all your employees to share their own pronouns, and making sure leadership sets an example. That very much includes the she/hers and he/hims! Add your pronouns to your email signature, your social media, and your business card. It may seem like a small gesture, but it has a big impact.
Spot and eliminate ableism
Ableism may get less attention than sexism or racism, but it’s just as damaging. Take a look at the Equality Act 2010, which requires employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities. Make sure you have adequate wheelchair access, remove ableist language from your company policies and literature, and think about how you can bring more disabled talent into your organisation.
Take collective responsibility
It’s vital to hold each other and the leadership accountable for putting diversity and inclusion plans into action and working continuously to improve, otherwise it becomes an exercise in box-ticking. Making inclusion one of your core values will create a sense of collective responsibility that will itself foster inclusivity.