How to Build a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
It’s one thing for companies to talk about diversity and inclusion, but it’s another to truly put those words into practice and build a global organization where people from all backgrounds can work collaboratively and feel that everybody is treated equally and fairly. Carrying that mission forward is the crux of my professional—and personal—philosophy.
To remain competitive today, companies must resemble their customer bases, which means ensuring they have different perspectives around the table. It means going to new places to find talent from diverse backgrounds. If a company can spot potential, then investing in building skills will pay dividends in the long term. But it takes conviction to focus resources and encourage employees to commit to these initiatives.
At Globality, we are an innovation-based global technology company where those diverse perspectives are needed to solve complex problems. Without different ideas and approaches, we would not be where we are today.
But improving diversity and inclusion means going beyond simple demographic numbers. Organizations should prioritize building a culture that ensures that people can be their authentic selves, have connection to a purpose, and believe their voices are valued. Of course, that leads to the practical elements of inclusion that all companies should implement—fair pay and promotion practices, unbiased recruiting practices, and reduced workplace microaggressions. The inevitable result of this is that people from different backgrounds feel a much stronger long-term connection to the company, which improves employee retention and productivity.
Fostering this kind of culture requires leadership from the top. If senior leaders speak authentically about why it is important to the company’s collective success and identity, they can move not only resources but also hearts and minds. Leaders also need to clearly articulate the business imperative and emphasize that a company’s collective success is defined by improving diversity and building a better culture. The business case is proven by the strong data that show diverse companies perform better.
Continuously taking the organizational pulse will reveal where feelings on belonging may be strong or need improvement. Leaders should address any challenges head-on by forming employee networks for people with shared experiences to collaborate, communicate, build communities, and advocate for their needs. It is not about putting the burden of thought on these groups, but using them as trusted allies in the betterment of the overall organization.
Beyond the corporate walls, organizations should speak up on issues they are passionate about and support diverse and inclusive values. Employees and customers care about these things, so businesses need to have a wider purpose they can communicate clearly and live up to.
By focusing on these areas and continuously reevaluating actions, companies can ensure they are putting diversity and inclusion at the heart of their everyday purpose and mission. My overriding passion is upholding these practices and building a diverse and inclusive workplace at Globality in support of our broader mission to level the playing field in global services sourcing by enabling more diverse companies to compete for and win business.