Diversity and Inclusion: Identifying the Problem

The idea of “diversity and inclusion” pops up as a regular topic of discussion in business circles for a good reason. We no longer live in an era in which diversity is a box that needs to be ticked. Rather, diversity and inclusion, today, are recognized to make workplaces healthier, more productive, more progressive and more forward-thinking. A lot of companies now realise that diversity and inclusion not only benefit employees, but they also benefit the companies themselves. An inclusive culture that doesn’t discriminate against gender identity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, race, religion, age and disability and, instead, expresses a commitment to diversity is one that thrives.

Except, not all companies are there yet. Some still need some work in that department. Fewer large Australian companies are run by women than are run by men named John. Or Peter. Or David. The number of women in leadership is in fact falling since that statistic was first reported in 2017 (Conrad Liveris, To Be Meritorious, Gender Equality At Work In 2017.)

It gets a little better if we take a step down from the C-Suite to the executive level. 40 per cent of executives in the Commonwealth public service are women, relatively close to the 50 per cent level of overall staff numbers (ABS). The reality however is, that we still have a lot of work to do before we can allow ourselves to become complacent.

“Women and minorities no longer need a boarding pass, they need an upgrade,” said R. Roosevelt Thomas

“The problem is not getting them in at the entry level; the problem is making better use of their potential at every level, especially in middle-management and leadership positions. This is no longer simply a question of common decency; it is a question of business survival.”

Thomas made this statement back in 1990 for an article in the Harvard Business Review. Thirty-one years later, effectively managing diversity and inclusion in companies continues to be a critical topic

WHAT IS DIVERSITY?

At its core, workplace diversity is about the acceptance and recognition of each employee’s strengths and differences. More and more organisations are throwing away the employee ‘mould’ and embracing the differences in their staff.

Employing a diverse workforce offers a myriad of benefits including:

  • An increasingly productive workplace
  • Encouragement of new ideas and perspectives
  • The emergence of a culture of equality amongst all employees
  • Establishing and ensuring fairness in the workplace
  • Improving the bottom line due to lifting morale and motivation
  • Greater access to different segments of the market
  • Positive uplift in customer and stakeholder experience

You can learn more about the importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Part 1 of our D+I Ebook series.

SIGNS THAT YOUR COMPANY MAY NOT TRULY SUPPORT DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

  • Making efforts all about the numbers: If your company’s leadership is solely focused on increasing diversity numbers through recruiting initiatives, but not identifying ways to create an inclusive environment, they are operating in the past.
  • Diversity and Inclusion is not well defined: If your company approaches diversity and inclusion with a vague statement then you may have a situation in which no one knows what diversity and inclusion means. Instead, the company should explicitly define them and broadcast that message internally within the company and externally within the community
  • There’s diversity but exclusion: You can’t have diversity without inclusion, and you can’t have inclusion without diversity. For example, do you feel like others (regardless of how similar or different they are to you), treat you with respect, kindness and aim to understand you? When you’re in a meeting, does everyone pay attention to the loudest person in the room or do your colleagues make an effort to encourage participation from everyone?
  • The leaders at the top look the same: Who are the executives in your organisation? What types of people are usually getting promoted in your department or company? Do they resemble the leaders who are promoting them or do they have a diverse background, skill or experience? If the former, there may be a problem in how people advance into leadership.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Diversity remains a top priority as organisations attempt to meet age, gender and cultural diversity requirements. But which diversity strategies are the best fit for your organisation? There is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Testgrid are experts in psychometric testing and talent management—we know the best way to assist with developing and enhancing your diversity strategies.
We have over 20 years’ experience in the assessment and testing industry, plus in-house experts in custom process design to ensure you achieve your targeted outcomes.

If you want to talk to one of our experts about how we can help drive your success with the right people, we are offering a gap analysis with on of our expert team. Simply sign up and book a time or contact hello@testgrid.com.

You can learn more about the importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Part 1 of our D+I Ebook series.

VIEW MORE

Related Blogs

Can Skills Assessments Mean Death to the Resume?

READ MORE

How Committed to Diversity are Australian Organisations, really?

READ MORE

3 Leadership Challenges to Act on Now

READ MORE

We Profile Santa Claus: The Man Behind the Red Suit

READ MORE

How To Embrace Neurodiversity In Your Workplace

READ MORE

Contact us to learn more

We're always happy to have an informal chat and share our insights on how to improve your recruitment, employee development and engagement.