You will have all heard the acronym D&I, which we all know stands for Diversity and Inclusion. Over the past couple of years, D&I has evolved into DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion). DE&I is increasingly a priority for many organisations. But, as ever, more is needed. That’s why it’s important to start at the beginning, with recruitment. DE&I must be a key component of your recruitment process.
Why is DE&I Important
Unfortunately, discrimination has been with us throughout our history. Whether because of ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age, education or wealth. Having a focus on DE&I in the workplace allows us to break down those barriers creating a fair and equal chance for all. No one should go to work with the fear of being held back or penalised because of who they are.
DE&I in the workplace’s sole purpose is to challenge our own biases – be that conscious or unconscious bias. The goal of DE&I is to ensure that we create a more welcoming environment for everyone and achieve conscious inclusion. We have all heard the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, and this is what DE&I aims to promote when it comes to those we employ and the culture we promote.
It is important for organisations to understand the meaning of DE&I. Only then will it have a positive impact going forward.
The Meaning of DE&I
In practice, many organisations don’t fully understand how to put in place DE&I.
Often there is an understanding of the words, but how they fit together and how they benefit the culture is not appreciated. Worse still, sometimes companies are playing acronym bingo and it’s just another buzzword.
To start, the best thing to do is work out what each individual letter means:
Diversity – includes all the elements of individual characteristics such as ethnicity, religion, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, education etc.
Equity – In short, equity means fairness. This is especially true when it comes to processes and procedures at work. Promoting equity at work, allows everyone to be treated fairly and have the same opportunities to be their best selves at work.
Inclusion – Creating environments so that everyone feels welcomed, supported, valued and respected. Creating environments where everyone embraces differences and respects them through words and actions.
Unfortunately, many organisations are still getting stuck on managing their DE&I.
That is where Troi can help our clients make a positive impact on their culture.
Why Doesn’t Every Company Get DE&I Right?
DE&I isn’t understood and, in most cases, never invested in or allocated adequate resources.
To ensure a DE&I culture, organisations need to live, breathe and believe in creating a better work culture.
Organisations need to understand WHY DE&I is important and the impact a diverse and all-inclusive culture can have on the organisation. For this to happen, adequate money and resource need to be invested.
It’s important to remember that hiring a diverse workforce doesn’t mean the culture will automatically be all-inclusive.
Yes, you need a diverse workforce but without attention paid to building equity and inclusion, you will never build a lasting culture. For example, if a new employee may assess and feel like an outsider. This could cause them to leave and find a company where they feel more supported. Companies that do not accommodate diversity, equity and inclusion will be left behind.
How Can Recruiters Make A Positive Impact On DE&I
Recruiters are at the forefront when it comes to creating an all-inclusive organisation. They can affect positive change to an organisation’s culture in many ways.
In most organisations, the talent acquisition teams are the brand ambassadors. They are the voice of the company and are fundamental to broadcasting your culture to potential employees.
If you fully immerse your recruiters in your organisation’s DE&I journey you will make the best impact from the start of your candidate experience.
Our DE&I Pro Tips for Recruiters:
- Find ways to eradicate unconscious bias when it comes to submitting CVs.
- Work with hiring managers to improve interview techniques and thought processes when it comes to making decisions in interviews.
- Look at ways of writing job adverts to make them more inclusive to external candidates.
(Originally written by Mike Leigh)
DEI efforts are incredibly important for retention. Highly inclusive companies are more likely to hit their financial target goals by up to 120%, so there are very strong business reasons for prioritizing DEI. – Claire Schmidt, AllVoices