Diversity is an important component of a thriving and productive workplace. Diverse teams foster better employee engagement and productivity while allowing for better problem-solving abilities.
The best companies are the ones that are open to a diverse and balanced work environment, supporting and actively promoting gender equality. Diversity in opinions, perspectives and ways of thinking is essential to the success of a business.
Here are 6 steps to take to move towards a more fair and more diverse workplace:
Ensure your policy defines procedures and rules
Your company work policy should have zero tolerance for any form of harassment. Encourage employees to come forward and participate in the investigation, assuring all information will be kept confidential and everyone who make complaints will be always protected.
Reduce bias in your hiring process
During the recruitment process, be sure of diversity amongst staff involved and clearly state the company’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive culture on careers pages and in job descriptions. In addition, convert all job descriptions to using gender-neutral language.
Consider anonymizing resumes and using blind evaluation processes to increase the focus on qualifications and merit rather than the biases that the best-intentioned person may hold.
Identify barriers to promotion and address disparity in pay
There are currently a lack of underrepresented people and diversity at senior levels. Women for example still earn considerably less than male colleagues and remain under-represented at senior level.
This gender pay gap measures the difference in average earnings between male and female employees. Employers can be transparent about wages, to ensure women are not receiving less than men in equivalent roles.
Create and support focus groups
Encourage staff to network and engage in a guided discussion on a particular topic. Initiating employee groups is a powerful way for like-minded employees to learn and address any concerns and ideas. These discussions can also help employers proactively identify workplace stressors, frequency of conflict and address issues to employee morale.
Educate all your workers about discrimination
All staff should be given education and training about what constitutes discrimination to create an inclusive environment where employees feel comfortable being themselves. There are many ways to keep your team informed and up to date such as face-to-face training, internal communications or even using visual aids in common areas to promote anti-discriminatory practices.
Be prepared to identify discrimination or barriers faced by staff
Some types of employment discrimination include race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, and religious discrimination. Establish a fair and consistent process for higher-ups, like supervisors and managers, on how to properly respond to discrimination in the workplace and in a timely manner, otherwise trust and credibility may be lost. Adopting a defensive approach is often counterproductive.
Providing a safe place for your employees to learn and grow goes a long way toward boosting employee happiness and overall business health. Above all, listen to your employees - start small and invest in the things they care about. Preventing discrimination will avoid long complicated investigations and negative impact on company morale and culture.