9 Diversity Issues More Employers Should Discuss Around Equity + Inclusion


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What is one important topic or point of discussion that should be brought into the conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion?

To help businesses with important points of discussion that should be brought into the conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion, we asked business experts and HR professionals this question for their best topics. From salary equality to unconscious bias training, there are several topics that may be helpful to introduce to your conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Here are nine topics that should be brought into the conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion:

  • Salary Equality
  • Inauthentic One-Size-Fits-All Solutions
  • Navigating Workplace Power Structures
  • The Role of Trust
  • Improper Investment of Time and Money
  • Lack of Neurodiverse Talent
  • Inaccessibility and Disconnect to Hiring Diverse Talent
  • Efforts to Elevate Marginalized Groups
  • Unconscious Bias Training

Salary Equality

Gender and race equality in the workplace isn’t possible without salary equality. Paying people the same amount, regardless of ethnicity or gender, is one issue more employers should discuss internally. What system is used to construct an initial job offer? How are raises and promotions given, and on what criteria are they based? To get to salary equality there are some important questions that employers should ask of themselves, and find the answers to. It’s not easy, but nothing that matters ever really is.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Inauthentic One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

There is no one single topic or point of discussion. The conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion is nuanced and will be different for different people. Seeking a one-size-fits-all solution is inauthentic. Instead, look around you at your own life, community, workplace, school and ask yourself, what do I see and what can I address? Rather than think about abstract concepts of diversity, look at actual experiences right in front of you. If you’re struggling with the concept, take a look at Simply Diversity, which breaks things down simply.

Stacey Gordon, Rework Work

Navigating Workplace Power Structures

One of the things I have seen at other companies is a well-meaning leadership team of middle-aged white guys trying to tackle the issue of inclusion. While they are able to implement some very well-intended initiatives, they will fall short to truly address the problem. No matter how hard they work at identifying issues and solutions, they simply don’t have the necessary perspectives to really understand potential problems. We developed a diversity committee that reflects the diversity of the company. The committee is made up of a variety of racial groups, sexual orientations, and roles within the company. We gave them broad goals, empowered them, then got the hell out of the way. While there is no perfect system, we feel the only way to make policies to address inclusion, equity, and diversity is by not only giving them a seat at the table but by putting them at the head of the table.

Eric Rutin, Kids Dental Brands

The Role of Trust

A topic that should be discussed is the role of trust and the opportunity to apply behavioral science to help leaders connect the dots between trust, inclusiveness, and performance. Highly inclusive teams that perform well aren’t made up of perfect people. They’re made up of people who are very good at uncovering and closing trust gaps. By making gaps visible to the team – giving everyone a safe way to express any feelings of exclusion – and then nudging them to own and close the gaps together, they create more inclusive, engaged behavior.

Dr. Jeb Hurley, TrustMetryx

Improper Investment of Time and Money

When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, businesses need to invest time and money into people who actually know what they are talking about. And when a company commits to DEI, they need to acknowledge and accept that some people in your organization (even high-ranking members) and some of your clients may become highly uncomfortable with the conversation. You may lose money and team members with your commitment to DEI, but you need to accept that as an acceptable risk if you’re going to genuinely commit to making marginalized members of the community feel welcome in your workforce.

Eric Mochnacz, Red Clover

Lack of Neurodiverse Talent

Companies have focused a lot on making workplaces more inclusive and equitable for people of different races, but people with disabilities haven’t received as much attention. Hiring very diverse talent, such as people who have disabilities, doesn’t hold a company back if done right. It actually opens doors the business wouldn’t have otherwise. Because employees with disabilities see the world so differently, they’ll be able to identify problems and opportunities with greater flexibility than employees who aren’t disabled. Hiring employees who are disabled can greatly benefit a business. 

Jenna Phipps, TechnologyAdvice

Inaccessibility and Disconnect to Hiring Diverse Talent

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the hot topics in the business world, but speaking as a black tech startup founder, I find that there has been way more talk than action. When the CEO of Wells Fargo said there was “a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from,” it highlighted the level of disconnect Fortune 500 companies have with repositories of black talent. Having attended Morehouse College, which is considered one of the top Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU), I can say with total confidence that the students attending HBCUs are more than qualified to be recruited into any Fortune 500 company. Numerous politicians, C-level executives, executive VPs, physicians, attorneys, Oscar-winning actors, shapers of culture, and even the Vice President of the United States of America have attended and graduated from HBCUs. Organizations and C level executives do themselves a disservice when they do not recruit from HBCU talent pools.

Julian Wright, Shotzu

Access to Opportunities

In any environment or workplace, there exist opportunities that aren’t always available to all. Diversity, equity, and inclusion imply everyone has equal access to those opportunities and fair consideration in respect to diverse groups involved. This starts by identifying barriers to access and helping elevate the marginalized people.

Gresham Harkless Jr., CEO Blog Nation

Unconscious Bias Training

In order to strengthen an organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in talent acquisition, training and business practices we have undergone extensive training in unconscious bias. Also, what isn’t measured isn’t focused on so ensuring that you have diversity targets that are measured each quarter will ensure your hiring managers are focusing on the outcomes that you want.

Ineke McMahon, P2P Learning and Development

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