While many companies wish to be inclusive, that is a goal that is easier said than achieved. Many companies lack the diversity necessary to become truly inclusive. Following are five signs that a company may be lacking in true diversity, as well as how to address these issues.
Simply focusing on numbers based on policy is not enough to provide a diverse environment. While companies may focus on recruiting outside talent based on race, this is not enough to change the overriding culture. Companies that focus solely on numbers are not working towards making new employees feel welcome or included. The number alone does not reflect sustainable change.
Race Inclusivity Is Not the Only Goal
True diversity means hiring employees with situational and behavioral diversity. Just because there is a diversity of race within the workplace doesn’t mean it’s truly diverse. If everyone comes from a similar educational background or socioeconomic status, it is not a truly diverse workplace and steps should be taken to implement change; true diversity comes in many forms.
No Clear Definitions
Just as a company will define it’s mission statement, it should also include a clear definition of what diversity and inclusivity look like in the company. Not doing so can lead a company to getting away with remaining in a “gray” area where it can continue to get by with mediocre standards of practice. This is not only unhelpful when it comes to addressing diversity and inclusivity issues, but may ultimately be detrimental to the company’s overall success. .
Feelings of Exclusion
It doesn’t usually take much time for an employee to sense they may be working in a less than welcoming environment. If they feel excluded or that their input is not as valued as that of a coworker’s and believe it is due to gender, creed, race, religion, etc., the company may have a serious problem that should be addressed immediately. A successfully diverse company should always value input from all employees, regardless of their tenure, position, or personality.
Leaders Look the Same
If those who hold executive-level positions tend to look the same and have the same educational backgrounds and experiences, there’s a good chance that the company is not truly as diverse as they believe. This could be indicative of a problem that diverse job candidates have difficulties advancing into leadership roles within the business.
If the goal is to have a truly diverse establishment, it must consider several key components:
- Less emphasis on numbers, more on people
- Provide a feeling of belonging
- People look different (especially leaders)
- Inclusivity that is not just race based but based on a broad range of factors
If your company does not have these components, it’s likely, there is still work to be done.