These days, companies are trying to be as diverse as possible in terms of gender and race. But what about other types of diversity? Diversity in viewpoints can be even more important than the type of diversity that gets discussed in the media. When there is a diverse group of people working together, they can come up with solutions to problems that would otherwise seem impossible to solve. As it turns out, there are many types of diversity in the workplace that aren’t spoken about very often.
Baby Boomers are retiring and Millennials are entering the workforce. This means that there is a widening generational gap within organizations and a lack of cross-generational communication. To combat this, it's important to not only hire people with different ideas but to also create environments where people can learn from one another. Below are some types of diversity you should know about:
- Generational diversity - The difference between employees born in different periods
- Ethnicity - Different racial groups
- Gender - Men and women
- Sexual orientation - Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender
Gender is a term that broadly refers to how individuals see themselves, and who they feel they are. Gender identity can be male, female, or something else.
Gender expression is the external presentation of gender through clothing, hairstyle, voice pitch, or behavior. It’s important to be aware that when we talk about diversity at work, we need to look at both gender identity and expression as well as other factors like race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and disability among others.
There are many different types of diversity within the workplace, but one that is often overlooked and not discussed enough is racial diversity. There is a lot more to this topic than meets the eye, and it's time we look at it head-on.
The first thing to know about racial diversity in the workplace is that several biases exist out there. Many people believe they are open-minded, but they will still have an unconscious bias based on their upbringing or experiences with different cultures.
For example, if you grew up being friends with people who looked like you or had similar backgrounds to you, then your worldview may be limited in some ways because you don't understand how other people experience life because they don't look like you or come from your background.
An ethnicity is a group of people with similar traits, and like gender and age, there are many different ethnicities. Each ethnicity has its own culture that may or may not be reflected in the workplace. The majority of the United States population is considered Caucasian (white), but other ethnicities make up our society as well. Some examples include African-Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. It's important to note that an individual does not have to belong to one particular ethnicity. They can identify themselves as multi-racial, biracial, pan-ethnic, etc.
5) Sexual Orientation
People who are LGBT identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Sexual orientation is often seen as a spectrum and can be fluid. People who are bisexual might feel attracted to members of either gender, people who are pansexual may feel attracted to people regardless of their gender identity and those who are asexual don't experience sexual attraction.
LGBT people face discrimination just like other minority groups do. They're one of the most targeted groups for workplace harassment which makes it hard for them to find work and advance their careers.
This is why it's so important that you are aware of this diversity and include them when hiring new employees. One way to increase the number of qualified applicants from these diverse backgrounds is by adding an optional question on your job application about how a person self-identifies in terms of sexuality.
6) Physical Ability
Physical ability is a type of diversity that many people don't know about or understand. According to the World Health Organization, physical disabilities are defined as any long-term condition or impairment that has a substantial impact on one's body and limits their ability to participate in activities. This can be anything from an invisible impairment such as poor eyesight, to being confined to a wheelchair.
According to The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), employers need to provide reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities. This can include adjustments at work such as providing accessible washrooms, ramps, specialized desks and chairs, voice recognition software, and assistive technology devices like screen readers and magnifiers.
7) Mental Ability
Mental ability can be defined as mental capacity or intellectual strength. The term is often used to refer to a person's capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, learning, and memory.
To succeed in life and at work, it is important to recognize that not all people are going to have the same level of mental ability. In some cases, this could lead to someone being labeled as lesser than those who are deemed more intelligent. This could lead to a sense of lack of belonging and exclusion from many opportunities.
We all must understand what mental ability is and how it impacts our lives so we can work together as an inclusive society where each person feels valued for their contributions regardless of their intelligence level.
8) Religious Beliefs
While many people assume that religion is not a topic that belongs in the workplace, there are plenty of religious beliefs that are important to know about. If a person's religious beliefs conflict with company policies or procedures, employers need to know about this ahead of time to avoid confusion and dissatisfaction from their employees. Here are some examples:
- Employers should be aware if an employee has any dietary restrictions due to religious beliefs. For example, a practicing Muslim may not eat pork because they believe it is forbidden by God.
- Employers should also be aware if an employee needs time off for prayer or worship during work hours since many religions require specific prayers on specific days or at specific times during the day. Employees should make sure to let employers know as soon as possible so they can plan accordingly.
- An employer should also be aware if an employee observes religious holidays like Passover, Yom Kippur, Eid al-Adha, or Ashura which might affect his/her work schedule.
- An employer might want to designate different bathrooms for men and women when one gender requires access based on religion (i.e., men cannot use a women's restroom).
- An employer must accommodate these observances according to the law so both the organization and its employees can follow the law without conflict.
9) Political Beliefs
The most common types of diversity are race, gender, and sexual orientation. However, there are many different types of diversity that you may not be aware of. For example, your political beliefs can be a form of diversity. It is important to know about all the different forms and how they can affect your work relationships so that you can prepare for them.
Political beliefs should not have any effect on your work ethic or productivity; however, if you know how to handle people with differing opinions then it will help you avoid conflict. Keep an open mind when talking to others and don’t come into these conversations assuming you know what their beliefs are.
If someone asks what your opinion on certain managing diversity in the workplace is, try to answer honestly while also respecting their views. If possible, ask questions so that you can understand where they stand on the issue before voicing your opinion too loudly.
10) Socioeconomic Status
Socioeconomic status is a person's social and economic position within society. One's socioeconomic status can influence access to education, healthcare, and other factors that affect the quality of life. The higher a person's socio-economic status is, the better their quality of life tends to be.
The term socioeconomic status encompasses three main factors: income, occupation, and education. Income is your total earnings over a year; occupation describes what you do for work, and education reveals how educated you are on various topics. Income has been linked to health outcomes because it indicates one's ability to afford healthy food or live in safe neighborhoods.
For example, in some U.S. cities, the correlation between increased income levels and decreased rates of death from heart disease was found to be statistically significant. Education also plays an important role with both short-term and long-term benefits for individuals' lives as well as society at large. For example, children who have more years of schooling typically have better cognitive development than those who don't receive an education at all, which leads them to earn more money throughout their lifetime. Furthermore, there is evidence showing that more educated societies tend to commit less crime than less educated societies.
How To Tackle Diversity In The Workplace: Ways To Encourage Inclusion
There's no denying it—the corporate world needs more diversity. But it's not enough to simply hire people who look like their colleagues—you also need to encourage them to feel like they belong in the workforce, as well as help them get the resources they need to succeed and thrive at work. Here are 10 ways you can make sure that everyone in your company feels included, valued, and supported at work, from top to bottom.
1) Define what diversity means to your organization
We believe that diversity is a catalyst for creativity, innovation, and improved organizational performance. We are committed to recognizing, respecting, and leveraging the diverse backgrounds of our employees to make better decisions about the products we create and how we do business.
Our organization is made up of people from many different regions, cultures, ethnicities, beliefs, and more. We believe this can only help us build better products that apply to more people's needs. This means fostering an environment where all team members feel welcomed and able to bring their whole selves to work every day.
It also means providing opportunities for all types of people, regardless of their background or differences, to advance based on merit- not who they know or what they look like. We will continue looking at ways to break down barriers that may exist inside and outside the company so that everyone feels included.
2) Educate your team about the importance of diversity
Diversity is not just a social issue, but it's also a business issue. So many companies are coming to understand that their teams and customers come from all types of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. These companies need to do whatever they can to create an environment where people feel like they can be themselves and feel included.
That's why diversity and inclusion initiatives are on the rise. But as with any new initiative, it might take time for your team to learn how to incorporate them into day-to-day operations.
Be transparent about your intentions: Make sure your team knows the reasoning behind these new initiatives. If you're going through them because you want your team to get better at problem-solving or because they need help breaking out old habits, make sure everyone knows what you're trying to accomplish so that no one feels excluded or confused by this change in the company culture.
Give concrete examples of what being inclusive looks like Give examples of what behaviors would constitute being inclusive, whether that means diversifying your hiring process or making small changes in the way meetings are run so those who speak less frequently have more opportunities to participate.
3) Encourage open communication about diversity
With so many different types of people in the workplace, it's important to encourage open communication about diversity. You don't want to leave anyone out and you want everyone to feel included. Below are some ways you can encourage inclusion in the workplace.
- Be mindful of your language - use words that are inclusive and not exclusive
- Try not to assume gender or any other identity
- Use inclusive language when speaking about others (i.e., this person)
- Ask for input from all parties before making a decision
4) Promote a culture of inclusion
Diversity is a word that is becoming more and more prevalent in conversations about the workplace. What does it mean to have diverse employees, products, and policies? One definition of diversity is the quality or state of having many different forms. It includes racial, ethnic, religious, gender-based, and sexual orientation differences.
By managing diversity in the workplace and a culture of inclusion, you can create an environment where everyone feels like they belong. A lot of research has been done on this topic by organizations such as Gallup and McKinsey & Company which found
Mckinsey found that companies with racially and ethnically diverse workforces perform better than their less-diverse peers which mean there are positive benefits for your business to hire more minorities. These ideas may seem hard at first but if we all make an effort, we can achieve equality in the workforce
5) Celebrate diversity in the workplace
Encouraging diversity in the workplace is not as difficult as it may seem. It starts with an open mind and some good intentions, which can lead to truly rewarding outcomes. By making a few changes to your working environment and mindset, you will see just how easy it can be to make everyone feel welcome.
Offer flexible work hours so that employees who have caretaking responsibilities for children or elderly family members can still perform their duties without sacrificing time with those they love.
Diversify your social media feeds to showcase a variety of perspectives and opinions from all over the world. You might be surprised by what you find!
But don't stop there. Your own experience at home or out in public is also full of potential insights about people's experiences that you can use when working with others on company projects. Remember this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson? What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
6) Foster an environment of respect
To foster an environment of respect, you need to create a culture that's welcoming and inclusive. This can be done by taking steps in the following ways:
- Introduce your team and welcome them during their first day with the company.
- Discuss diversity as part of your company values.
- Create diversity groups in which employees can share their experiences and have an open dialogue about being different.
- Think about how you interact with people from different backgrounds and work on ways to adjust this behavior.
- Celebrate differences! Ask people what they do for fun or what their hobbies are to get a better understanding of who they are as individuals.
7) Create opportunities for networking and mentorship
Encourage inclusion by creating opportunities for networking and mentorship. One way to do this is by hosting an event for professionals of different backgrounds, which allows them to network with one another and talk about their challenges and successes.
Another way to encourage diversity in the workplace is by encouraging mentorship programs. Mentors can offer guidance on how to succeed in a given industry or position, as well as share personal experiences that might have shaped their careers.
When someone has a mentor, they often find it easier to connect with like-minded individuals who can help them grow professionally. Organizations can also invest in hiring managers from diverse backgrounds who are skilled at building strong relationships with candidates.
Remember that there's no single solution: It's important to remember that there's no single solution when it comes to tackling diversity issues in the workplace.
For example, if you're struggling to create connections between employees from different cultures, don't be discouraged if your first idea doesn't work out; try something else until you find what works best for your company culture!
Make an intentional effort: If you want your team to reflect the values of your company, then make an intentional effort towards recruiting people from diverse communities and building inclusive cultures where everyone feels welcome. There are many ways you can introduce diversity into the workforce - we've just touched on a few!
8) Implement policies and practices that support diversity
- Offer Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for employees with similar backgrounds and interests to learn from each other, share experiences and advice, and identify solutions to common problems.
- Train managers to proactively create a diverse and inclusive workplace by using tools like unconscious bias training and the Rooney Rule (a policy that requires all employers in the NFL to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching jobs).
- Implement a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, harassment, and bullying in the workplace.
- Hire staff to recruit, hire, train, and retain diverse talent.
- Be transparent about company policies on diversity in the workforce and promote an environment where different perspectives are valued. 6. Don’t just talk about diversity – walk the walk!
9) Conduct regular diversity training
To combat discrimination and create a more inclusive environment, organizations should provide diversity training for all employees. Such training should be mandatory for all managers, who are in the best position to set an inclusive tone from the top down.
Successful diversity training programs typically include interactive workshops or presentations on different topics such as implicit bias and microaggressions, which may help people become more aware of their own biases. These training are usually conducted by outside experts or consultants who have experience with diversity issues.
10) Measure and monitor progress
Measuring and monitoring progress is important for understanding how well your initiatives are working. Set up a system that allows you to collect data about diversity in the workplace, then set goals for what you want to achieve.
For example, if you want to increase the number of women in leadership positions from 10% to 20%, then set a goal of hiring two female employees in leadership positions per year. By measuring and monitoring your progress, you will be able to better understand how well your initiatives are working and adjust them accordingly.
Without this tracking, it is difficult to know whether or not something works. With this information, you can also see when something needs to change so that everyone feels included.
Throughout my career I have found success in using these steps: Treat all people equally; Understand differences; Build rapport with different groups; Actively engage people who don't belong; Conduct inclusive discussions by asking questions; Listen to all points of view respectfully; Assign tasks with consideration of individual abilities, interests, styles, and limitations.
Diversity in the workplace not only improves employee morale but can also improve the bottom line of your company. Research from Harvard Business School shows that companies with diverse management teams tend to earn higher returns than those without them (read more). If you're ready to foster an inclusive environment that's welcoming to people of all different backgrounds and perspectives, here are 10 things you can do to help improve diversity in the workplace
Our School of Meaningful Experiences (SoME) creates and delivers transformative communication programs designed to meet the workplace challenges of the post-pandemic 21st century. Effective, assertive, and empathetic Communication skills are key to learners presenting themselves confidently, better managing conflicts, working well with others, and becoming tomorrow's professional leaders.
We offer in-person workshopsas well as online courses for career development which are available globally. Our unique curriculum is based on extensive research into human behaviour across cultures and generations so that we can help anyone communicate more effectively regardless of where they're from or what language they speak.
We understand that not everyone has the same level of experience or understanding when it comes to communicating so we make sure our instructors are trained properly so that they can deliver lessons based on each student's needs. Our goal is to help people feel confident about communicating with others so that they can live fuller happier lives!
How do you tackle diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
At the end of the day, it's important to remember that all employees are different. Whether that be in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other factor. Companies must promote diversity and inclusion in their workplaces through a variety of methods like mentorship programs and inclusive hiring practices.
How do you handle diversity in the workplace interview question?
Diversity is important to me and I always ask questions to try and get a sense of the person's perspective. One question I usually ask is, What do you think about diversity in the workplace? If they say that they don't think it's important, or that it doesn't matter, then I don't feel like there would be a good fit.
What can managers do to promote diversity?
Actively recruit a diverse pool of candidates. This can be accomplished by joining networking groups and attending industry events, as well as reaching out to colleges and universities in your area that have diverse student bodies.
Be aware of unconscious bias and make efforts to mitigate it. One way to do this is by conducting an audit to see where you have diversity gaps in the organization and then take steps to close those gaps with new hires, promotions, or other changes.