This year has already been a jam-packed year from Trump being sworn in to the Presidency and all the effects that has had on the world, to advances in technology from simple things like the newest smart phones to autonomous vehicles. The world is always changing and evolving and we have to change with it. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in our daily lives is no different. Some companies and industries are getting better at it and some still need work.
A recent survey from Glassdoor found that “67% of active and passive job seekers said that diversity is an important factor when considering companies and job offers.” This has been a huge issue especially in the Tech Industry over the past few years, as many companies have received criticism for not having a more diverse work force. While many blame other problems like no diversity in the “pipeline” for this, there hasn’t been a lot done to resolve these issues.
But as Catalant states in an article, “research suggests that diversity drives innovation, especially for larger companies, diverse teams are more engaged in their work, and inclusion positively impacts overall brand performance. So while many companies are struggling with diversity, it should be a high priority for them as it benefits not only the workers, but everyone involved.
Shifting to Strategic Inclusion
One major change that we are seeing is the shift from diversity and inclusion to strategic inclusion. This means making diversity and inclusion matter and have a purpose beyond making the company look accepting and multicultural. Bringing in people to expand and benefit the company, but not solely bringing in someone just because they are ethnically diverse. If you are looking into a primarily Spanish speaking market, bringing on a native Chinese speaker isn’t going to help grow your company in that area.
One of the major reasons that the Tech Industry is having such a difficult time recruiting and retaining people is that they are not focused on strategically including people. Women and people of color are brought into a culture that isn’t welcoming and they feel that they don’t belong there.
An article on Medium.com says “2017 will bring increased focus on one key aspect of inclusion: “Belonging.” We think about “inclusion” as creating an environment that signals all people are valued, and where everyone has access to the same opportunities.”
Want to learn more about how to Build Next Level Talent Through Inclusive Recruiting? Check out our our sister organization at http://www.diversitycertification.org and download our FREE 14 page guide.
So before you start hiring anyone and everyone just because they make a diversity report look better, make sure that you have a strategy behind who you hire. A blog on Strategy+Business states, “Your diversity initiatives have a new role to play. While the field of diversity management is still in its infancy, investments in it are paying off economically, because of its effectiveness in attracting and retaining skilled people. But many diversity and inclusion programs need more strategic clarity.”
Technology Helping those with Disabilities
While the Tech Industry as a whole is struggling with diversity, a lot of technology is being developed to assist those with disabilities better adapt and enter the workplace. The BBC recently highlighted this in an article with several technologies being developed and already put to use.
Eyegaze Edge tablet
The tablet allows people with degenerative diseases, like Prof. Stephen Hawking, to use eye movement to move a cursor on the screen, enabling them to communicate with others and accomplish many other tasks.
These glasses are being developed to hopefully one-day help the blind be able to see. They are still working on several things like keeping the weight down so as to not bother the wearer.
This glove has several sensors on it that allows a computer to track movements. The goal of this device is to allow deafblind people to be able to work computers and even smartphones and tablets by signing. This would be huge for the 1.5 million deaf and blind people around the world.
All of these technologies and more are being used to help those with different kinds of disabilities overcome the obstacles to gaining employment and make a living. It is very exciting to see how these projects could one day change the world for people with disabilities.
Trump has been one of the most controversial and divisive presidents in our nation’s history. While a he had a large following and about half of the country voted for him, the other half feels that he doesn’t represent them and has made this country harder for people of color, those in the LGBT community, and other minorities. A recent Gallup poll was done to see how different groups felt after the election.
The poll finds that “in fact, on both of these measures, workers are slightly more likely to be positive rather than negative when asked about changes over the past four months.” This is surprising considering a lot of the negativity we see surrounding his presidency on a regular bases.
The poll also broke it down by differing groups and found that “black employees and employees who identified as LGBT were as likely to say they were more worried as to say they were less worried because of their demographic status, standing in contrast to the overall sample, which — as noted — has become less worried.
Hispanic workers are among the subgroups tested who were more likely to say they have become less worried rather than more worried, and to feel more included rather than less included over the past four months.”
Regardless of political affiliation and if they voted for Trump or not, people generally are less worried or generally neutral on workplace treatment and diversity in the last four months. This means that despite some ugly rhetoric and comments coming from the White House, many feel just as satisfied or even more about how they are treated in the workplace.
The Society for Diversity is the largest organization for diversity and inclusion in the US. With members in 43 states, The Society for Diversity represents a highly specialized association of Fortune 500, nonprofit, government and education professionals throughout the U.S. The Society for Diversity is also the parent company of the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC), which designates qualification credentials to diversity experts through their professional diversity certification program. By teaching diversity professionals and executives how to drive real-world results, the IDC helps individuals advance their careers as well as have a greater overall impact on diversity & inclusion within their organizations. Together, we can standardize and elevate the field.