Research shows a strong commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion is among the top factors candidates look for in an employer. In today’s talent drought, you need to be actively demonstrating that commitment. Here’s how.
- Be open about your gender pay gap
Being honest about any gender pay gap in your organisation will win trust and respect; it shows you’re genuinely concerned about pay equality and committed to tackling it. Try publishing a pay gap analysis report, including salaries in job postings, and/or equalising performance-related pay reviews.
- Be aware of unconscious bias
To have genuinely diverse hiring practices, you need to work against unconscious bias by using a variety of interviewing styles, making decisions based on data, removing coded and gendered language from your job ads, and advertising in different places such as diversity-focused job boards.
- Acknowledge cultural and holidays
Inclusion is vital to make employees feel valued and will boost your staff retention. Take a flexible approach to holidays, and let people have time off for important religious and cultural occasions.
- Encourage employee feedback
Encourage frequent feedback from your employees to find out how inclusive you’re really seen as being. Be inclusive in the way you ask for this feedback by offering different ways to give it, such as conversation or an anonymous survey.
- Build a multigenerational workforce
Fighting ageism is an important part of diversity and inclusion. For example, millennials are more likely to get promoted in the tech industry, because of conscious or unconscious assumptions that older techies can’t keep up with innovation. People from different generations have different worldviews, experience and ways of working, which makes for a more diverse workforce.
- Have strong anti-discrimination policies
Make your employees feel safe to report discrimination by having strong anti-discrimination policies, making them accessible (for example, braille and audio versions) and enforcing them when needed.
- Celebrate difference
Invite your employees to celebrate difference with events like Pride, Black History Month and International Women’s Day, multicultural prayer or meditation spaces, and lunch events where employees can share foods from their cultures.
- Acknowledge pronouns
Show your commitment to including people of all genders by encouraging your employees to share their personal pronouns, and make sure the leadership sets an example. Put your pronouns in your email signature, on your social media, and/or on your business card. It’s a small gesture that has a huge impact.
- Spot and stamp out ableism
Ableism often gets less attention than racism and sexism, but it’s just as damaging. Read up on the Equality Act 2010, under which employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees. Make sure your wheelchair access is adequate, and go through your company policies and literature to remove ableist language, and think about how you can bring more people with disabilities into your workforce.
- Take collective responsibility
If diversity and inclusion efforts are to be more than a box-ticking exercise, we must hold each other and leaders accountable for putting the plans into action and continuously working to improve. Making inclusion a core value creates a sense of collective responsibility that itself breeds inclusivity.