What Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Do Your Employees Really Want?

If you’re thinking about implementing a diversity and inclusion program in your company, you should first find out what type of diversity programs do your employees find valuable and want to see implemented at your company.

Diversity at the workplace: A competitive advantage

In light of recent events, diversity and inclusion have become the number one topic for HR professionals. Many companies are examining their antidiscrimination policies and rethinking the way they are building and promoting workplace diversity.

As they should, because black lives do matter, and so do black employees. Did you know that racially and ethnically diverse teams outperform industry norms by 35%, according to McKinsey's research?

Considering all the benefits of workplace diversity, how can you promote it in your company? 

There are many different workplace and diversity programs you can implement so which ones should you choose to implement? 

If you’re thinking about implementing a diversity and inclusion program in your company, you should first find out what type of diversity programs do your employees find valuable and want to see implemented at your company.

What diversity and inclusion initiatives do employees really want?

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) did an interesting research study in which they surveyed 16,500 employees around the world to find out what diversity initiatives employees actually want. The researchers found out that different underrepresented groups preferred different types of workplace and diversity initiatives.

What do female employees want?

Female employees want to have visible role models and flexible-work programs as well as parental leave.

 Real-life example

Women of color who say they have mentors are 81% more likely to be satisfied with their career progression than those without mentors, according to research conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI).

What do employees of color want?

Employees of color emphasize recruiting a diverse workforce. They want blind resume screening and diverse interview panels.

Real-life example

Slack proactively sought out candidates from outside traditional programmer pipelines like Stanford and MIT, recruiting through all-women’s coding camps, as well as programs that focus on training black and Latino programmers such as Code2040.

What do LGBTQ employees want?

LGBTQ employees wanted their organization to collaborate or partner with an LGBTQ-focused or LGBTQ-friendly organization in organizing and celebrating LGBTIQ events such as Pride, as well as other events that celebrate diversity.

Real-life example

IBM uses the hashtag  #inclusiveIBM to demonstrate its inclusive company culture on social media sites. This hashtag is promoted on their official social media profiles, but it is also used by their employees who post photos of themselves at work, which gives it a sense of authenticity. 

Key takeaway

There is no one-size-fits-all workplace diversity program. Talk to your employees, listen to their needs and start from there. You can also suggest a few ideas from this list and let them choose the one they find most valuable for them.

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