The average American workplace may be more diverse than ever before, but that doesn’t mean they’re still all that inclusive. A 2016 report from the Harvard Business Review found that Latino men and women are regularly snubbed in the workplace, and 63 percent of Latino workers say that they don’t feel welcome at work.
Whether you are a manager in charge of human resources in your organization or you own your own business, you need to take steps to ensure that you’re building a more inclusive workplace and not just paying lipservice to the concept. The way you can go about this could vary depending on your organization’s industry, but here are a few steps to get you started.
Recognize Bias When You See It
Even if you champion a more diverse and inclusive workplace, you might still see bias from some of your colleagues. As a leader, you need to be able to recognize this bias and call it out when you see it. It could be that the bias is unconscious; people in leadership roles tend to favor those who are most like them, even if they don’t intend to. Even so, if it happens consistently, you need to call it out, even if you’re the one doing it.
Practicing inclusive leadership means providing an environment where everyone feels seen and heard regardless of their background. This means giving everyone the chance to voice their opinions and not treating anyone any differently from anyone else. Provide useful feedback and criticism when it’s warranted, but make it clear that everyone has a voice and a chance to contribute to your organization.
Hold Your Management Accountable
This ties into the first point about recognizing bias, but you should always hold your leaders accountable. Make it clear to everyone in your organization and outside of it that inclusivity and diversity are part of your core values. Don’t be afraid to discipline leaders who don’t adhere to those values.
Diversity and inclusivity still don’t feel like the norm for many people, but they must be embraced if you expect your organization to thrive. We live in a diverse world, and the modern workplace should always reflect that diversity.