Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Improvement (30-slide PowerPoint presentation). Diversity pertains to representation of races, ethnicities, and other minority groups in an entity or, in other words, the make-up of an organization. Inclusion, on the other hand, represents the degree of value given to inputs, existence, and viewpoints of various groups of people and the extent [read more]
How Tech Companies Can Support Inclusivity and Diversity within the Workplace
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For a company to thrive, there is one component that every business owner should focus on – inclusivity and diversity. Although many tech businesses have been putting these issues to the top of their agenda, there’s still significant room for improvement.
Diverse teams foster better employee productivity and engagement, as well as allow for better problem-solving abilities. While diversity is incredibly important, when you factor in inclusivity too, this helps you create a workforce made of people that have something different to offer, as well as giving those individuals a sense of belonging. Here are several ways tech companies can support inclusivity and diversity within the workplace.
Take Notice of Unconscious Bias
For real change to happen in a tech company, you need to understand bias and build awareness. There are different kinds of bias. The first is unconscious bias. This can include feelings or associations of bias that may be hidden under the surface. You can begin by helping employees learn how individuals are impacted by unconscious bias, as well as what actions continue to reinforce biases.
The best way to build awareness and address unconscious bias is by encouraging each member of the team to look at, question, and analyse their own personal assumptions and biases. Taking note of occasions when stereotyping occurs will help employees become more aware as they begin to make those biases more conscious.
Promote Pay Equity
As the boss, it’s your job to level out the playing field amongst employees. One way to do this is by providing fair opportunities for all employees. Companies can leverage analytics to establish which employees are underpaid for similar responsibilities or roles. There are many roles in IT that need to be looked at. Check out Hiring People who have a guide on IT responsibilities. Their guide goes into detail and what does an IT person do.
When you look through their guide, this can help pinpoint any pay gaps that may exist within your team. Also, leaders can identify patterns within various areas of the company to get to the root cause of the issue. This knowledge may help you spot trends or patterns that may exist where certain groups of staff, like people of colour, for instance, are being underpaid within certain sectors of the company.
Create a Strategic Training Program
A diversity program helps staff learn about cultural differences and how they can impact how employees work and interact at work. In your tech company, it’s likely you’ll have people from all walks of life and backgrounds within the team. For everyone to gel and work as part of a team, creating a strategic training program is essential. This can cover anything from communication styles, concepts of time, and self-identity. There should also be a section that covers how to deal with conflict.
As well as diversity training, your tech business should concentrate on training that’s linked to your specific organisation and team. You may want to consider partnering with a consultant. An expert can help you build customised training programs for both the business as a whole, as well as programs that are function-specific.
Acknowledge Holidays of All Cultures
Another way to support inclusivity and diversity in your tech company is by being aware of and acknowledging a variety of upcoming cultural and religious holidays. When finishing a team meeting or call, if the participant number isn’t too big, ask each member of the team what their plans are to celebrate the holiday.
You can use your tech company’s intranet to help staff become aware of multicultural religious or holiday celebrations. When scheduling conferences and one-to-one meetings, make sure you’re respectful of these days, as you may find an employee needs time away to celebrate the holiday.
Facilitate Ongoing Feedback
In any kind of business, getting feedback is important. This gives you a better knowledge of what is going on under the surface. To eliminate any patterns of biases or discrimination within your tech company, you should start by deploying pulse surveys across your workforce. You’ll be provided with information that can help you make wiser decisions too.
Anonymous feedback surveys are the smartest choice. This allows each employee to be honest with their thoughts and feelings, as well as give feedback and advice on what changes could be made within the business. If any issues arise, you can take immediate action too.
It’s important for tech companies across the board to recognise the key roles inclusivity and diversity play within the workplace. Inclusivity and diversity are detrimental to the resilience, recovery, and overall success of your business. When you use the right methods to hire and support employees, you’ll build a healthy work culture and create a thriving and profitable company that respects people from all different walks of life.
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The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure our organization achieves success through our people. Without the right people in place—at all levels of the organization—we will never be able to execute our Strategy effectively.
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About Shane AvronShane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.
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