Part 3 of a 7-Part Series
It’s time for companies to really start to think about what diversity and inclusion means within their organization. Over the last many years, we have heard companies speak about Diversity and Inclusion as if it was one and the same, it’s certainly not. Diversity and inclusion are not the same thing and understanding the impact and role that each play within your organizational culture requires very different and distinct approaches.
When it comes to understanding diversity within our organizations, we can simply look at numbers. We can see and count the number and various demographics including visible minorities, women, or millennial employees we have hired and retained and so on. With diversity we can look at the numbers and create and share statistics upon statistics and that shows how diverse we are. However, it does not show how diverse we are in thoughts, approaches, actions, and effective problem solving.
From an inclusion perspective, however, it’s much more difficult to measure, but it can be done effectively. We can measure inclusion by understanding mindsets, actions, and behaviours and how included people feel within your organization. Do your employees feel like they have a voice and that they are heard, respected and listened to, a seat at the table, opportunities to grow, to be mentored and supported and have realistic and equitable career paths. Companies are measuring inclusion, with KPI’s and also by using people analytics tools that utilize Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning like Prompta AI.
When we are able to hear what our employees, want, need and feel without fear we can better understand inclusion, corporate blind spots and address issues with timely and informed action plans. We know that it is important to measuring inclusion but to get measurable and sustainable results, just like with anything else in life “you have to measure it to achieve it”.
Right now, we’ve got systemic racism within our communities and within many business cultures. Many companies have glass ceilings for people who are visible minorities and those considered too old, too queer, too fat, too short, too young or disabled. There is widespread visible and invisible discrimination to those who are “not from here,” or those that speak with an accent, or anyone considered different.
Inclusion guarantees there is equal opportunity for everyone. Inclusion ensures that everybody’s voice counts within the organization, that each employee is heard, valued, and has equal opportunity from recruitment through to succession planning. For too long, we have seen companies give lip service to inclusion. We regularly hear, “hey yeah – we’re a diverse company.” Diversity doesn’t automatically mean inclusion is present within an organization. Inclusion ensures that within the organization, everyone has a/an:
- equal opportunity
- voice that counts
- opportunity to be heard and valued
- equal opportunity from recruitment through succession planning.
For too long, we have mistakenly equated diversity and inclusion as one and the same, but they differ significantly, and both need to be addressed differently for sustainable transformational culture change to occur.