By The Hirons Diversity Team
Most companies and organizations make an effort to recruit and retain a diverse workforce or membership. We know that there is great benefit in having employees and members of varying backgrounds and worldviews. But while an organization may seem diverse at first glance, there are a few important factors to consider.
Having a diverse group of members isn’t very effective if organizations do not take advantage of the diversity. Some organizations do an excellent job of attracting people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Some even have diversity initiatives in place to help meet goals of having diverse representation internally. However, having a diverse surrounding does not suggest that the environment supports learning about differences in race, religion, ethnic backgrounds, sexuality, etc.
Creating an environment that supports unique perspectives is also important; having diverse leadership helps create this kind of environment. Note that having a racially diverse group of leaders is not enough, because though racially diverse, they could all have similar perspectives. Having leaders in place with an understanding of why and how race, sexuality, gender and socioeconomic status changes what and how we communicate is necessary.
Lastly, it is equally important to retain diverse members as it is to recruit them. If you have members that are Muslim, is there an area for their daily five formal prayers? It is not enough to learn about diversity and the different representations of people within your organization; there is great significance in also being inclusive.
Organizations have to work to be more socially perceptive and culturally aware. This is extremely important in a world where every industry is becoming more global.