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How can I be inclusive in a diverse workplace?

Being conscious of DE&I in the workplace is an important ability to have as you encounter different workplace environments in your professional career. DE&I stands for:

  • Diversity: refers to the human make-up of an organization
  • Equity: Giving everyone what they need to succeed
  • Inclusion: Everyone is equally acknowledged and valued 

Think of it like throwing a party:
“Diversity is where everyone is invited to the party, inclusion means that everyone gets to contribute to the playlist, equity means that everyone has the opportunity to dance.” 

There are some categories that serve as identifiers that have been identified to be legally protected from discrimination in the workplace:

Some of the categories that have been systematically identified in the legal context. 

  1. Gender: how a person self identifies
  2. Religion: the belief in one or many gods
  3. Race: cultural/ethnic background
  4. Disability: physical or mental impairment
  5. Sexual orientation: attraction to other people
  6. Socioeconomic status: your social standing or class

  • Gender 
    • Self-identification.
    • Most cultures use a gender binary (male and female), those who exist outside these groups fall under the umbrella term non-binary. Not the same as sex. Gender diversity in the workplace refers to an equal ratio of all genders working together.

Did you know that…

  • 47% of women have faced gender discrimination at their jobs
  • Men are 2x more likely to be hired, regardless of a hiring manager’s gender 
  • 26% of transgender workers were fired because of their identty 
  • Women have 32% of the wealth men have accumulated 
  • 90% of transgender workers report one form of harassment or mistreatment on the job

  • Race
    • A race is a categorization of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct within a given society. 
    • The term was first used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations. Not the same as ethnicity. However, both are social constructs used to categorize and characterize populations.

Did you know that…

  • 25% of black individuals earn less than their white counterparts 
  • 50% of job resumes with traditionally white sounding names receive more callbacks 
  • 42% of Americans have been a victim or a witness of racism at work

  • Sexual Orientation:
    • a person’s identity in relation to the gender or genders to which they are attracted to.

Did you know that…

  • Two-thirds of LGBT employees reported that they have heard negative comments, slurs, or jokes about LGBTQ people at work.
  • Half (50.4%) of LGBT employees said that they are not open about being LGBT to their current supervisor
  • One in five LGBT employees reported experiencing physical harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity–including being “punched,” “hit,” and ‘beaten up” in the workplace.

  • Religion
    • A system of faith, belief, and worship 
    • More than 80% of the world claims some sort of religious affiliation

  • Socioeconomic Status 
    • A group or individual’s social standing usually measured through one’s education and income status 

Did you know that…

  • The amount of money an employee makes can be roughly predicted by the wages their parents earned.
  • U.S. workers from lower social-class origins are 32% less likely to become managers than are people from higher origins.
  • People from working-class backgrounds who enter high-status occupations earn 17% less on average than individuals from privileged backgrounds

  • Disability
    • Common disabilities include: physical, psychological & mental, neurological & intellectual, and vision & hearing.

Did you know that…

  • One adult in four has some type of disability, whether visible or invisible.
  • 51% of working autistic said that their skills were higher than those their job required
  • 33% of working-age Americans with disabilities participated in the workforce vs. 77% of Americans without a disability

Benefits of DE&I In the Workplace

  • Increases productivity by 40%
  • Increases profits by 60% 
  • Better creativity, innovation, improvement, and decision-making

A Diverse Workplace consists of…

  • Diverse recruitment methods
  • Equal opportunities 
  • Internal mentoring programs
  • Diverse employee referrals 
  • Intersectionality
  • Emotional tax
  • Understanding bias 

Recognizing biases we may not even realize we are exhibiting is important to create an inclusive environment in a diverse workplace.

  • Unconscious Bias
    • According to the University of California, San Francisco, unconscious biases are defined as “social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one’s tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing.” 
    • Unconscious bias can therefore hinder diversity in the workplace and stop progressing from happening.

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