How to achieve true diversity in the workplace – and why it matters

Despite Google’s claims that it wants to improve diversity, the tech giant’s recent report on the issue shows that little has changed over the last year. Women still account for less than a third of the workforce, and the company has a high attrition rate for black employees. Why can’t the most successful and most coveted employer attract and hang on to talent?

Firstly are we really addressing the right issue? True, it’s very important to talk about diversity, but it’s not the right conversation. The real conversation is about inclusivity. Diversity is the outcome of what you get when you have a very inclusive environment.

That environment encompasses workforce, culture, brand and everything else in between. The starting block is to see diversity as the outcome and inclusivity as the path to getting there.

Before you can even step on that path as an organisation, you need to start with the right baseline question, which is: why does diversity matter?

Start with the right mindset

Ethical reasons are good but you need to find the real driving forces in your organisation as to why diversity is important. If you don’t have a real reason and you don’t have C-level leadership buying into why it matters, not much is going to change.

Once you’ve started asking why, is, stop blaming the labour market. Perhaps there are not enough minorities applying to software engineering jobs, but hiring organisations are part of the solution as well as being part of the problem.

It starts with being inclusive. Being inclusive is like a funnel: which means getting as many people at the start of the process and then narrowing it down until you find the right people. The problem is that most companies do the precise opposite.

They cut people out early in the funnel so they don’t apply. They talk about wanting to attract and recruit underrepresented talent but they do not create an inclusive environment to foster this.

The first thing that you do to improve your recruitment marketing is to look at your brand. What are your brand values? What do you care about and what do you not care about?

Development, News

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