Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity in the workplace refers to the various backgrounds of people working for the company. More specifically, this includes hiring people from different backgrounds, including race, gender, ethnic group, age, educational background, and more. Diversity in the workplace involves how people view themselves and others around them. Human Resource departments should be mindful of communication between employees, adaptability of each employee, and change. Those companies that embrace diversity very clearly recognize the need for diversity as well as the importance that all employees communicate well with one another, adapt to such diversity, and embrace change in terms of diversity.

Benefits of Diversity

  • The more diverse a company is, the more money it makes. In fact, 35% more for ethnically diverse companies and 15% more for gender-diverse companies.
  • It provides for more innovative and smarter employees, who are all willing to work with one another regardless of their background
  • Diversity helps retain staff
  • Increase in adaptability
  • Increased allocation of resources
  • Broad skills and experiences, i.e. cultural understanding, increased knowledge of different languages, which in turn, can help the company as a whole
  • Increased viewpoints due to hiring of employees with different backgrounds, which can allow for more creative and innovative solutions for clients
  • Higher productivity
  • Unique talents and skills, which can benefit employees’ performance at work
  • Ability to offer feedback to other employees who may be less knowledgeable and experienced
  • For those companies wishing to expand globally, hiring people from diverse backgrounds can help the process as having diversity in the workplace will attract both consumers and those companies wishing to do business with yours.
  • Increase range of candidates as such candidates are aware of the diversity in the workplace for that particular company
  • Happier and more confident employees
  • Increased communication with other companies globally when there may be a language barrier

Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace

Some challenges could exist in the workplace due to diversity, including cultural and language barriers, lack of teamwork, and low morale.

Another challenge could be resistance to change for some individuals who refuse to accept diversity in the workplace. Such diversity may also prevent those from speaking up with new ideas.

However, in order to prevent such challenges, you’ll want to ensure that the people you hire are welcoming of diversity in the workplace. You’ll also want to implement diversity trainings for all new employees, and ensure that all employees receive periodic training on welcoming diversity in the workplace.

Recommended Steps for Creating Diversity in the Workplace

The following steps are some recommendations for those companies wishing to create or expand diversity in the workplace.

First, you’ll want to assess the current diversity in the workplace. You can do this by evaluating the number of employees and their respective backgrounds. You can even create a mandatory survey to keep track of all backgrounds. You can also implement a satisfaction survey for all employees to see if they welcome diversity.

Next, you’ll want to develop a plan for expanding diversity in the workplace. The plan should be specific, but also attainable. Don’t create a plan that is unattainable. Also, be realistic with timelines.

The last step is the implementation of diversity in the workplace. This can include online training for all employees to introduce the new concept of diversity in the workplace while also welcoming employees who come from various backgrounds. Ensure that all employees are aware that they cannot judge those with different backgrounds so to minimize any potential harassment or discrimination in the workplace.

Other Recommendations

  • Ward off change resistance. For those employees who resist change or diversity in the workplace, be sure to work with those employees to help them realize that enhancing diversity in the workplace will help their careers.
  • Reward attitudes of openness. For those who are open to change, reward those employees. Have them serve as mentors to those new employees who come from different backgrounds.
  • Promote diversity by creating leadership positions. This will allow other employees who aren’t open to such diversity to rethink how they view diversity. Therefore, if they begin to open up and welcome diversity, they may be able to obtain a leadership position in the company.
  • Diversity training. As previously mentioned, you’ll want to create detailed Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed a gender-balanced cabinet (50% women/50% men) in 2015. 
  • French President Emmanuel Macron appointed a diverse cabinet to ensure that both men and women were given positions, including less experienced political professionals.

If you need help rectifying a problem with diversity in the workplace or wish to expand diversity in your workplace, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.