Over the summer, racial inequalities and injustice were brought to the forefront of our consciousness. It made us realize that the policies and systems that were previously put in place to create increased diversity and racial equity have failed to bring the systemic change that had been sought. The challenge that leaders face today is how to move forward with real action that will create workplace diversity and inclusion, ultimately leading to equity across all groups of people.
IQTalent Partners CEO, David Windley, laid out his tips to overcome inequality and achieve workplace diversity. This is a brief account of his suggestions. For the expanded version, check out the full article on Forbes.Craft a clear plan for #workplacediversity through your #hiringprocess with this 3 step roadmap on the @IQTalent blog:Click to Tweet
First, we must admit the problem exists. Recent research conducted by SHRM (Society for Human
Resource Management) through their Journey to Equity and Inclusion study reveals that 49% of black professionals feel discriminated at work, while only 13% of white professionals agree that racial discrimination exists. Further, 68% of black employees feel their organization is not doing enough to provide opportunities to minorities compared to just 38% of white employees who agree.
Tip: Ensure there is a shared context around inequities. Everyone involved needs to recognize that there is an issue before it can be solved.
Recognizing that bias is normal and natural behavior in all humans will demystify unconscious bias. Humans instinctively categorize the world around them, including people. Therefore, we must become aware of our unconscious filters to create new processes and systems which will help remove racial and gender bias from day to day decisions in the workplace.
Increased diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace begins with hiring. Ensuring everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, and worldview, has equal opportunities is step one to garnering a system anchored in equality. Start by reviewing your hiring process to evaluate where unconscious biases may be prevalent.
- Identify specific characteristics and competencies needed for each role.
- Build a structured assessment process that includes behavior-based interview questions.
- Chart the competencies of candidates and evaluate how these competencies will lead to successful performance.
- Create a feedback loop with the hiring team where each member offers an evaluation based on constructive characteristics and not simply likability or “culture fit.”
While every organization’s hiring process will be different, taking the actionable steps of evaluating your firm’s existing process and finding ways to remove inherent bias will lead to greater diversity across the company.
For too long, workplaces have offered a great deal of rhetoric about diversity and inclusion without creating any tangible action. Checking boxes to ensure your firm’s workforce includes underrepresented minorities is no longer enough. To create real results and ensure our workforces are authentically diverse, we must invest in time, money, and resources.
- Unconscious bias training programs
- Investing in AI-powered technology to uncover bias
- Build diverse teams to spearhead your firm’s diversity and inclusion programs
The most critical investment in your firm’s diversity and inclusion programs is time and focus. It will take time to evaluate diversity and inclusion and more time to create new processes. It will take focus to find the right people to lead your diversity and inclusion initiatives. But by creating tangible diversity goals and forming improved processes with specific timelines to achieve these objectives, you will have an ongoing investment that will result in great dividends.
The time has come for all of us to create authentic workplace diversity and move toward true inclusion and equity for all.