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Diversity Isn't Enough

Diversity is simply numbers in a database. At the most basic level of diversity reporting, you can see how many employees of color, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans there are at an organization, assuming those individuals chose to share in the organizational survey we will assume went out for the purpose of this exercise. And that's great! Companies should absolutely strive for diversity of race, ability and gender in their recruitment efforts.

But it needs to go so much further to be actually impactful. First, there needs to be more in depth data requested, like LGBTQIA+ status, pronouns, religion, and age. There is so much more, but this is a good start. All of this information would be voluntarily given, but if it's never asked for, you can never really know where you stand as an organization.

And again, diversity isn't enough.

Go beyond the numbers in the database, the aggregated chart of employee makeup. How do those employees feel? Do they feel included in the overall company culture? Are they comfortable bringing their whole selves to work, or are they covering? Is everyone encouraged to put their preferred pronouns in their email signature, or is the trans or non-binary employee the only one talking about it? Do the female employees feel heard, or talked over? Do the Muslim employees feel included and safe, or judged and misunderstood?

Looking at an office floor with a seemingly diverse workforce is not an indication of the diversity and inclusion of the company. Even doing a simple policy analysis can be extremely enlightening, and can offer some quick and easy first steps to being truly inclusive.


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