It is now a business imperative to think about new ways to talk about diversity. People leaders – the change catalysts in every workplace require new skills to empower equity and inclusion at work.
And workplaces require innovative behaviours to ensure that their diversity and inclusion initiatives are compact and sustainable. The future of diversity is way beyond ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. It is about equality for all.
To thrive in the future, we need to look beyond unconscious bias training, diversity numbers and metrics. Moreover, with this pandemic, it is certainly time to create compassionate spaces and to have uncomfortable conversations with real people focusing on growing a culture of inclusion and belonging in our workspaces.
To ease in this transition, we should consider driving a year-round strategy dedicated to prioritizing diversity and intuitively promoting inclusion. For this, setting up a task force or an Employee Resource Group (ERG) is a great step. Another worthy way is to foster and invest in ally-ship initiatives and open support counselling services towards creating inclusive leaders and teams.
Moreover, investing in technology working solutions to support employees with special abilities and making notable physical and accessible changes in the workplace to ensure adequate accommodation for physically enabled team members is highly recommended.
Furthermore, to cultivate a feeling of belonging with your workforce, we should consider going deeper in communicating – open all possible channels of communication. Look at developing empathetic nimble people relationships and work policies respecting diverse needs and cultures. All of this will not only support in seeking diverse perspectives but will empower your team members to be more open about bringing their true self to work. Once you reach this milestone, conduct your diversity audit.
In this diverse journey, a lot lies on the shoulders of people leaders. They need to lead by example as they continue to play an integral role in creating a workplace culture where diversity is celebrated, inclusion is embraced, and equity is valued.
This journey is comprehensive and ongoing, and the workplace’s success is truly dependent on its people leader’s motivation and alignment to fostering a culture of uniqueness by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Let us go beyond celebrating women’s day or Pride Month. Let us fuel a meaningful culture of distinct perspectives and unique values, and move beyond surface-level conversations around diversity and inclusion.
The author, Priya Khanna is Senior People Partner at S&P Global. She is a dynamic and creative HR professional with a decade of wide-ranging experience gained in high-profile organisations across varied industries.