In this highly digital era where everyone lives on their cellphones, we have seen the tangible impact that social media can have on social justice reform. With hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter being tweeted more than 30 million times since its creation in 2013 and #MeToo not far behind with 19 million tweeters using the hashtag, there is no denying that the topic of diversity is a hot one. As our conversation around these issues continues to evolve, it’s natural that employers will want to ensure their own workplaces are as welcoming and as diverse as they can be.
Our clients often ask us to help them join the conversation by showcasing their diversity and inclusion efforts. And while this sounds like an opportunity to shine a light on their great work culture, it can sometimes be challenging when not every employer has achieved the kinds of success they want to in D&I, which in turn can impact the level of authenticity in the content. Because authenticity is key to effective content marketing, these efforts can fall flat despite the best intentions.
There Is an “I” in Team: Defining Inclusion
When it comes to the subject of diversity and inclusion, people often use the two words interchangeably. However, in order to implement truly impactful D&I plans, it is critical for organizations to understand that the two are separate and equally important entities. A company needs to be willing to focus on the inclusion just as much as the diversity.
Hiring employees from all walks of life is a great start. But, does it really matter if these employees don’t feel like they have a seat at the table or that their voices are being heard within the organization?
“We often forget the ‘I’ in the D&I conversation,” Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), says. “The challenge is in having a culture where all employees feel included. It’s a major investment to bring talent into your organization, so why bring them in if they’re not happy when they get there? You’ve got to get the inclusion part right.”
What “getting it right” looks like will vary from place to place and is an ongoing and often intricate process. This is why many organizations have their own D&I leaders whose entire careers are dedicated to it. Later on in this series, we’ll be discussing principles of workplace inclusion that you can keep in mind.
TMP Diversity and Inclusion Series
So, how do you create a diverse and inclusive workforce? And how do you, as an employer, avoid coming across as insincere or potentially trivializing an important discussion? It begins with implementing practices within the workplace. In this blog series you’ll find resources to help you:
- Understand what diversity and inclusion means within a workplace
- See what it looks like in practice
- Learn how to build a culture that fosters respect and collaboration among employees
- Showcase your culture on social media
We’ll be tapping into insights from experts, sharing examples of companies we think are doing things right, and providing actionable takeaways that you can use in your own HR departments. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a deep dive into what makes diversity and inclusion efforts successful.