The ‘I’ in D&I

When attempting to address an issue, especially one as varied and textured as Diversity and Inclusion, (D&I) I think it’s important to start from an agreed upon operating definition. Social unrest and various forms of activism has shed light to the age-old problem of D&I in corporate environments, and it has now become a sticking point amongst organizations, employees (existing and prospective), consumers, and general public. With D&I at the forefront of our collective thought process and interest, leaders are rightfully asking themselves, “Are we a company who promotes diversity and inclusion, and if not, why?”

Protis Global has talked D&I strategies in the past, most of them focusing on the diversity aspect, but today we want to discuss the Inclusion aspect (I) in “D&I”.

Just because your company is “Diverse,” it does not mean your company is Inclusive of all its peoples. “You can hit diversity numbers, and not have an ‘Inclusive’ environment,” Mike Bitar, Protis Global’s Managing Director said, when asked about inclusiveness within the workplace. Mike went on to say, “If you’re going to hire diverse talent, any color, any gender, any sexual orientation, you have to have an environment that isn’t just welcoming… but somewhere they can be themselves!”

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines Inclusion in the Workplace as “the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organizations success.”

In other words, to create an inclusive environment, everyone in an organization needs to actively work to understand and alter any unconscious biases that may be affecting the workplace. When people are aware of their own biases, they can grow, change and become more inclusive to the rest of the team.

A 2018 Randstad study has shown most employees desire a workplace that values both diversity and inclusion. Per the study, 78 percent of employees say a workplace where people are treated equally is important to them.

Here are a few things companies everywhere can begin doing to further the feeling of inclusiveness within their organization:

  • Hire a third party strategist
  • Bring a D&I person in House to the HR team to exclusively focus on that aspect
  • Periodic trainings around diversity and inclusion

Despite a heightened awareness and focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, some companies still aren’t getting it done. We want to ask, what is your company doing to promote Diversity and Inclusion?

To learn more about D&I and more D&I Strategies check out these tools below:

SHRM Guide to D&I

10-Tips to Build an Inclusive Environment

Follow Protis Global on LinkedIn for more on this topic!


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