Note: This article was originally written in 2020 and has been updated for 2021.
October is Global Diversity Awareness Month. This is a great time of year to re-engage with the most current diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) resources available, and perhaps reassess your organization’s progress in supporting a more diverse workforce. As you know, increased diversity in the workplace leads to tangible benefits for both the business and its employees (who are more comfortable and more productive). Diverse teams create a competitive advantage because they are more creative and innovative, better at decision making and problem solving, and so much more. In support of Global Diversity Awareness Month we’ve put together the following collection of resources for employers looking to support workplace diversity initiatives:
Article: How Improving DE&I Can Make Organizations More Competitive (Society for Human Resource Management)
This SHRM article outlines the four different roles that HR professionals can contribute as to help make their employers more competitive – Strategic Partner, Employee Champion, Change Agent, and Administrative Expert – and how each role can effectively address DE&I challenges in the workplace. “In the end, HR should deliver the fundamental basis for data-driven DE&I decision-making and apply AI tools to generate even more new insights.”
Article / Podcast Episode: How 2020 Accelerated Conversations on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Gartner)
In this excellent article Gartner team members address the ongoing societal demands for racial justice, and the opportunities that business leaders should now take advantage of in order to promote diversity, equity and inclusion among their employees. Included in their discussion are a number of mistakes that organizations and executives need to avoid moving forward – including inaction as the biggest mistake. Gartner also hosts a DEI Resource Center that includes additional podcast episodes, articles, research and reports.
Article: How to Develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative (Society for Human Resource Management)
SHRM has put together this excellent article that outlines a comprehensive plan for an intentionally more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. The four main phases of their plan are: 1. Data collection and analysis to determine the need for change. 2. Strategy design to match business objectives. 3. Implementation of the initiative. 4. Evaluation and continuing audit of the plan. These four steps are further broken down into nine steps of action that employers can take. If your organization is ready to begin implementing a formal DEI initiative this is a really great place to start.
A subscription to The Forum Podcast is a great, easy way to stay engaged with DEI-related topics anywhere you go. Recent topics include disability inclusion and the law, applying change management strategies to accelerate DEI initiatives, and responding inclusively to Coronavirus. Each episode provides relevant, valuable content from a diverse selection of progressive industry experts. A program of Augsburg University, The Forum has been a leader in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion since its founding in 1988.
In her article Jennifer Kim lists 50+ ideas for supporting a diverse, inclusive workforce that can be taken right away. Her list ranges from converting all job descriptions to gender-neutral language, to aiming for a transparent, no-negotiation compensation policy, to leveraging digital tools like Alex to help catch insensitive writing in corporate communication. She closes out her long list with a wise message: “Start small. Don’t let the immense scope of things that need to be done keep you from doing anything at all. Because you can talk about diversity and inclusion forever — but taking action is the only way to change anything.”
Article: Diversity Hiring is More Than a Checkbox. Building A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Recruiting Strategy (Mac’s List)
For a great overview of what diversity and inclusion mean, why DEI matters, how to hold your company accountable, and intentional diversity hiring best practices – start here. This article is full of good advice regarding diversity hiring, including being clear about the key objectives of your DEI program and starting with a key focus, rather than trying to do everything at once.
DEI Organization: The Center for Equity and Inclusion
Finally, for those organizations looking for further education the Center for Equity and Inclusion, based in Portland, OR, is a great resource. A specialized consulting agency focused on advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts within organizations, they help re-envision and implement long-term organizational change through training, system design and leadership development.
There are so many great DEI resources available in 2020. Hopefully this list has been a helpful refresher. We encourage you to dig deeper into those resources that resonate with you and your organization. Actively supporting a more diverse and inclusive workplace starts with a willingness to learn and an openness to change.