Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is essential for companies to attract and retain top talent, enhance innovation and creativity, and improve overall performance. However, organizations often make common mistakes when developing their diversity and inclusion strategies that can hinder their progress.
Here are five common mistakes organisations make in their diversity and inclusion strategy:
1- Lack of leadership commitment: One of the biggest mistakes organisations make is failing to secure top leadership's commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives. Without leadership support, it is challenging to create a culture of inclusivity within the company.
"The Leadership Commitment Needed for Diversity and Inclusion to Work" by Pooja Jain-Link, Forbes. Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/poojajainlink/2021/06/08/the-leadership-commitment-needed-for-diversity-and-inclusion-to-work/?sh=41d2f8bf4c46
2- Not conducting a diversity and inclusion audit: Organizations need to evaluate their current diversity and inclusion practices before implementing any changes. Without assessing the current state of diversity and inclusion within the organisation, it is challenging to know where to focus efforts and what changes need to be made.
"How to Conduct a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Audit" by Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza, Harvard Business Review. Link: https://hbr.org/2021/06/how-to-conduct-a-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-audit
3- Ignoring intersectionality: Organizations often make the mistake of treating diversity as a single issue rather than acknowledging the intersectionality of identities. This approach overlooks the unique experiences and challenges faced by individuals with multiple marginalised identities.
"Why Intersectionality Matters in Diversity and Inclusion" by Minda Harts, Forbes. Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mindaharts/2021/02/08/why-intersectionality-matters-in-diversity-and-inclusion/?sh=42a3082b2e2c
4- Focusing on diversity without inclusion: Diversity is crucial, but it's just one piece of the puzzle. Without a focus on inclusion, diverse employees may still feel excluded, undervalued, or marginalised, leading to a high turnover rate, low employee morale, and decreased productivity.
"Diversity is Useless Without Inclusion — Here's How to Fix It" by Maya Hu-Chan, Harvard Business Review. Link: https://hbr.org/2020/01/diversity-is-useless-without-inclusion-heres-how-to-fix-it
5- Relying on one-time training sessions: Many organisations make the mistake of relying solely on one-time diversity and inclusion training sessions to create a more inclusive workplace. While training can be helpful, it is not a comprehensive solution. D&I training should be part of an ongoing process that includes continuous learning, feedback, and accountability.
"Why One-Time Diversity Training Doesn’t Work" by Evan Apfelbaum and David Rock, Harvard Business Review. Link: https://hbr.org/2018/07/why-one-time-diversity-training-doesnt-work
Are you currently working to build a diversity and inclusion strategy that aligns with your organisations values? Would you like an expert's view on it? Contact us here