Excerpted from an SHRM Blog by Paul Wolfe

In order to achieve workplace diversity, it must be promoted, embraced and executed by all levels of an organization. I like how Amerah Egab, Brand Manager at Tucows (a Toronto-based tech company), articulates the issue: “Inclusion and Diversity goes far beyond writing a policy, it needs to be part of the organization’s fabric. This is a topic that matters to new hires, and candidates are increasingly asking recruiters and hiring managers questions about inclusion and diversity because they want to ensure they will feel comfortable in their workplace.” Here are some ways to achieve an inclusive and diverse workplace.

1. Hire a dedicated leader for inclusivity
Many companies have started employing professionals who specialize in inclusion and diversity initiatives, and ensure that employees feel supported. Other organization take a grassroots approach, leveraging their employees who are passionate about the cause to volunteer their time to support inclusion and diversity.

When taking this approach, companies should provide support and encourage their employees to form groups, host events and promote various causes. One way companies can do this is by encouraging employee resource groups, which act as a platform for communication and collaboration.

2. Provide Training
Training hiring managers and recruiters to commit to a diverse slate of candidates for every position is one way to help foster an inclusive and diverse workplace. Moreover, training is essential to help combat unconscious biases.

As part of training, it’s critical to look at how these unconscious biases might be present during different stages of the hiring process. For example, ensuring your job descriptions are gender neutral can make a big difference. In fact, according to research, removing gender-biased words from job postings can increase the number of applicants by 42%.

3. Create a candidate pipeline
Another way to encourage inclusion and diversity is to create a candidate pipeline by partnering with associations and schools, and investing in your future pool of talent.

Companies are starting to support and sponsor various organizations that advocate for underrepresented groups. The efforts are twofold: not only does this encourage people to consider careers in tech, but it also helps you build a relationship with these group members, who could eventually be primed for a career at your company.

4. Showcase your diversity through storytelling
A goal to aim for is that inclusion and diversity will eventually be ingrained in your company’s employer brand. One way to do this is by creating video content that features staff members telling their own stories – what does diversity mean to them? Content is a powerful vehicle and can help build your reputation.

These are just a few efforts towards cultivating an environment where all people – regardless of race, age, gender and sexual orientation – can flourish. And when your workforce succeeds, so too does your company.

 

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