Better Work In Action: How Diversity and Inclusion Drives Success in 2020
This blog post is by our friend, John Thomas Lang (he/him/his). He’s Head of Content Marketing at Amount, a FinTech that is accelerating the world’s transition to digital financial services. Before joining Amount, he played a key role in scaling multiple award-winning tech startups in Chicago. A proud Colorado native, you can find John digging through the crates for vinyl records or supporting the Chicago music scene.
Fact—diverse teams Do Better Work.
But despite the clear consensus on the advantages of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, so many organizations and their employees struggle to successfully navigate this sensitive subject. Diversity and inclusion initiatives are more than just filling a quota; they prioritize inclusion, promote belonging, and foster an environment of Better Work. Which directly impacts the bottom line.
McKinsey estimates that ethnically-diverse companies in the top quartile (25%) are 35% more likely to outperform those in the bottom quartile. Gender-diverse companies in the top quartile are 15% more likely to outperform those in the bottom quartile.
As we look ahead to 2020, diversity and inclusion initiatives are no longer just a trendy PR talking point. The importance of diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace directly correlates to the type of talent a company attracts. Glassdoor asserts that nearly 70% of job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating future employment.
How will your company compete with the shifting job market in the next decade? Emphasizing a company culture built around diversity and inclusion is a great place to start.
Diversity + Inclusion = Belonging
Diversity and inclusion are often grouped together as a singular entity, however, each element holds a distinct and purposeful meaning.
Diversity encompasses characteristics that make people unique. Inclusion is about the social and behavioral norms that promote welcomeness. Combining the two leads to a workforce full of employees that feel like they each have a place in the greater fabric of their organization.
Leading technology companies like SalesForce, Google, and others are incorporating roles like “Chief Equality Officer” and “Head of Equality” into their leadership teams. Smaller companies should follow suit. Think of your diversity and inclusion strategy as a progression through this flywheel.
Take active steps to examine, engage and evaluate your strategy constantly to drive diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
It only takes a small start to get things moving. Once you take the first step toward building an inclusive workplace, the effects will ripple across your company.
Diversity & Inclusion Best Practices
So, where do you start? How do you build a world-class diversity and inclusion program from the ground up? A Cornell University survey of over 300 HR executives set out to find the best practices for attracting a diverse and inclusive talent pool.
They found that the following best practices attracted top-notch talent:
- Fair treatment
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Organizational flexibility and responsiveness
- Diversity training and education opportunities
- Representation at all levels of the organization
- Equal access to opportunity
- A focus on innovation and collaboration
For many of us who work in tech, we see a focus on innovation and collaboration driving diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The more innovative your team strives to be, the more diverse and inclusive employees are drawn to your company.
The Cornell study found that “diversity in organizations may be supported by sets of practices to manage fair treatment issues, increase stakeholder diversity, and demonstrate leadership’s commitment to diversity, while inclusion may be supported by practices to integrate diversity into organizational systems and processes and encourage the full participation and contribution of employees.”
Inclusion is the integration of diversity. Coupling this truth with these best practices at work can set the stage for a strong diversity and inclusion focus from day one of onboarding.
Diversity & Inclusion Strategies for Success
Two-thirds of active and passive job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. With that in mind, it’s important to showcase your efforts during the hiring process while constantly examining, engaging, and evaluating your company’s practices. Remember the flywheel?
There are a few easy ways to establish your benchmarks and build a culture that attracts a diverse and inclusive group of employees:
- Craft a diversity statement that will serve as the ground on which your organization stands.
- Establish hiring benchmarks for the entire company as well as individual teams.
- Be flexible in your policies. Creating an inclusive company brings more diversity of thought, traditions, culture, and communication. Finding a healthy mix of flexibility in PTO, remote work, and benefits is integral in creating an inclusive culture.
- Engage your workforce with an inclusion survey and capture NPS.
- Evangelize your efforts with prospective employees during the interview process.
Keep track of your projects and initiatives with project management tools and identify what went well and where there’s room for improvement.
Perhaps the most difficult element of diversity and inclusion is creating a sense of belonging among employees.
The same Glassdoor survey from above found that only one-third of employees were aware of diversity practices at their company, and an additional 21% were uncertain if those practices existed. That’s a lot of potential evangelists for your inclusion efforts. How do we reach them?
Create a team dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and belonging. The team should consist of employees from all different levels with all of the diversity you’re seeking to create. Encourage all team members to volunteer and nominate each other, using the same diversity standards for hiring to fill the team.
At G2, we took this to heart and created G2 Together, a team dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and belonging. G2 Together consists of a leadership team and an executive sponsorship team, bringing together more than thirty of G2’s best and brightest across all teams within the organization. Our mission is to build a globally welcoming and inclusive product, company, and culture.
The team is committed to continually overcoming unconscious bias to embrace and empower all human beings. We believe that differences in gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation and other aspects of human identity give us valuable perspective and help us reach our goals.
Tear Down Bias & Build Others Up
Creating a diverse and inclusive company is so much more than picking the perfect stock photo for your company website or celebrating holidays in the office. It’s about creating a pathway to belonging for each and every individual that engages with your product. It’s about tearing down the unconscious biases in all of us and making every person in your organization know they’re valuable and respected.