How Entrepreneurs Can Promote Diversity to Avoid Workplace Discrimination

/ June 14, 2021 | 6 Mins Read

How Entrepreneurs Can Promote Diversity to Avoid Workplace Discrimination

Workplace discrimination is a major concern in all enterprises, big or small. Here's how you can address the inequity and promote diversity among your staff.

The world is ever-evolving. From the continuous stream of technological advancements to the gradual transition of societal views, the planet has expanded beyond unimaginable limits. Workplaces have also altered their procedures to adhere to these changes. 

Work ethics has changed in modern workplaces. Employers mostly see staff satisfaction as the building block of their businesses. They now prioritize the employees' well-being to guarantee the high quality of the services they offer. 

However, although business owners visualize employee comfort as the enterprise's ultimate foundation, they still need to address workplace discrimination. Despite governmental efforts to prevent workplace discrimination, the systems are still flawed. The problem is recognized but never fully addressed. Workplaces lack the representation needed to establish equality in virtues. 

The current views of firms suggest the entirety of the workplace culture; thus, promoting a culture of equality and diversity should address workplace discrimination.

Do you want to make sure that your workplace is a safe place for all? Here are some ways on how you can promote diversity to prevent workplace discrimination: 

1.  Assess your staff population 

Prejudice leads to abuse of power. While women empowerment is on the rise, enterprises still practice men-centric values with the recurrence of gender discrimination. Racial and religious debates have also affected the views of the workplace. 

When one fragment of society outnumbers another, perspectives will always be one-sided. Minorities feel out-of-place and isolated. Employers overlook their opinions, for the voices of the majority are louder. The majority always sets the tone for the flow of work.

The first step in promoting diversity within the workplace is making sure that your staff population is diverse and well-represented. Does your firm welcome people of varying circumstances? Does one race dominate the community? Does the number of men exceed that of women? 

You need to ask these questions when evaluating the staff population. The views of your staff manifest the stream of your work.  

2.  Practice fair recruitment 

Of course, equality in the staff population starts with the hiring process and employee onboarding. The kind of people you bring into the company can affect your general work course. 

Diversity means an equal representation of people of different backgrounds. It also includes integrating fresh attitudes into the firm's work ethics. A diverse company is a happy company.

Make sure to treat all applications and applicants fairly. It is important to note that their background does not affect their credibility as workers. Evaluate the applicants in the same set of criteria to ensure that everyone is playing a fair game.

To further guarantee that you hire the right employees, seek help from others. Establish an HR team or a panel to help you sort out applicants. Their opinions can aid you through your recruitment process. 

3.  Create policies that promote equality 

Governments impose policies to hold a community together. Sanctions iron and straighten the inconsistencies and creases that disrupt the smooth flow of societies. This is also true in enterprises. The crafting of policies that prioritize equality among workers will promote diversity in work attitude. It refutes hierarchies and prevents discriminatory practices. 

Policy-making also requires a handful of minds. Make sure to establish a diverse committee to assess current policies and create new ones if needed. Representation in the team leads to fair integration of customs. It guarantees that every opinion is voiced-out and addressed. 

Allow your employees to also give prompt feedback. Your workplace should be your people's haven to report incidences of discrimination. Make sure that you treat these sensitive reports with confidentiality. 

Seeking professional advice is also beneficial before putting your policies in place. Ask the advice of a labor attorney to assess your crafted rules. 

4.  Offer equal promotion stance 

Workplaces should always provide equal promotion opportunities regardless of the employees' gender identity, race, sex, religion, and disability. Like in recruitment, the credibility of the worker up for promotion should not be based on background or characteristics beyond their control.

Modern workplaces have integrated the prevalence of technology into their methods of work. Manual tallying became automated sheets, and stacks of paper turned into computerized storage. Modernization in business doesn't manifest just as futuristic architecture, but it may lead to employees' ability being overlooked.

Therefore, the equal promotion also means giving them equal opportunities to learn new skills beneficial to the company. And as employees know, skills expansion is an essential part of the path to promotion.

5.  Provide equal compensations and benefits 

Compensations and benefits are essential in the productivity of the workers. It prioritizes welfare and induces output improvement. 

 Slurs and physical threats are not the limitations of workplace discrimination. Subtle discriminatory moves include unfair paycheck and benefit grants, biased feedback, and unbalanced workload assignments. 

You should provide your employees with training benefits. They should have access to mentors and feedback sessions to improve their work. Equality in the workplace means equality in benefits and opportunities bestowed upon employees.

What Companies are Doing to Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Throughout this article, we've been discussing diversity and equality, as well as the other end of the spectrum, discrimination. And so, it's inevitable to touch on inclusion, too, as the United Nations states that "discrimination is the opposite of inclusion."

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), launched on March 1, 2014, is an initiative that seeks to eradicate discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.

Also called Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS has beefed up its efforts against discrimination even more this 2021 by including several other types of inequalities into the picture. These inequalities are related to income, sex, age, health status and disability, occupation, sexual orientation and gender identity, drug use, race, class, ethnicity, and religion.

What's the take of companies on the UN program and other global initiatives, and how are they making diversity and inclusion part of their workplace culture?

From small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the consensus is clear: diversity is good for business. This aspect of company culture can be a major driving force for attracting job candidates so that recruitment can be quick, efficient, and cost-effective.

However, the problem is that the so-called minority candidates aren't showing interest in job vacancies in SMEs. The applications coming in aren't enough to enable SMEs to establish a diversified workforce.

On the other hand, large corporations seem to be more successful in their drive to incorporate diversity, equality, and inclusion in the workplace. Here are some that stand out well.

1.      Sodexo

Sodexo

Souce: Sodexo

Sodexo breathes diversity through and through. The company states that "gender balance is our business" and hopes that other companies will follow suit. Sodexo has 55% female staff members, and 58% of its board of directors are women.

2.      Mastercard

The world's renowned credit card company has been on the first 10 of DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies since 2013. One of Mastercard's most effective campaigns on diversity involves getting older employees involved in its social activities.

To do this, younger employees in its YoPros BRG (the Young Professionals Business Resource Group) work with their more senior counterparts via one-on-one mentoring programs to familiarize the latter on social media platforms.

3.      Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is distinguished in the United States not only as the largest healthcare organization but also a champion for diversity. At Kaiser, no one race dominates the workforce since 60% of its staff are people of color. Kaiser's goal is to represent all 140 cultures that are found in the U.S. population.

4.      BlackRock

BlackRock is in the finance business sector, known for its expertise in managing assets or investments. As a global brand, BlackRock is all out on promoting diversity by hiring talent from various backgrounds, including veterans, women, the disabled, and members of the LGBTQ community.

5.      General Motors

Gender Equality

Source: General Motors

Vehicle manufacturing corporation General Motors (GM) is a true epitome of an equitable institution, focusing on values of dignity, justice, tolerance, and inclusion among its labor force. GM also provides financial support to organizations that promote the same values that the company lives by.

6.      Salesforce

Salesforce is a software company that provides various enterprise applications, including customer relationship management and marketing automation. Alongside its vision to connect businesses and customers, Salesforce believes that organizations should use their platforms to influence positive change in the workplace and the communities they serve.

Among its goals are to hire more black employees so that by the end of 2023, 50% of its workforce would come from this demographic. Salesforce is also doubling its representation of black employees in key leadership positions, such as vice presidents.

Ending Workplace Discrimination

Workplaces have also evolved with the growth of humanity. The expanse of modernization has also reached the spheres of workplaces. Procedures and mind frames have changed, adapting to modernism. However, the company's culture still manifests outdated beliefs. 

Workplace discrimination has a wide range, from derogatory remarks to unfair assignments and racial slurs to sexism. It is still widespread because, as much as entrepreneurs have recognized the problem, the system is still incomplete. 

Promoting diversity is the key to mitigate workplace discrimination. Equal representation of viewpoints avoids the isolation of ideas. It amplifies the voices of the minorities. 

Enterprises that exercise and promote diversity within their workplaces bear the fruits of their efforts. They reap the benefits of a wider scope of ideas and broader market services. Workers' stable welfare also contributes to increased productivity and output improvements. 

While equality and diversity promotion is simple, it takes the whole corporation to reach these accomplishments. Do you want to ensure that your enterprise is a happy place for all? Follow the five ways mentioned and combat workplace discrimination today. 

Experienced Marketing Specialist at Shegerian & Associates with a demonstrated history of working in the law practice industry. Skilled in Business Process, Negotiation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Management, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). Strong marketing professional with a Strategic Marketing focused in Marketing from Panamerican Consulting Group and Universidad Rafael Landivar

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