In the light of 2018 activities in global diversity and inclusion world, Diversein highlights some of the largest upcoming trends and issues that organisations must be ready for 2019.
More Executive apologies are being published
Companies such as H&M, Victoria’s secret, and Macy's have been criticized over insensitive or controversial statements, advertisements and actions by employees in 2018. This means that companies now need to concentrate on diversity & inclusion training to prevent such mishaps from happening by focusing on behavioral changes that tackle unconscious biases.
#MeToo Movement after effects
A survey done by USA today recently showed that 51% of their respondents were hesitant about dealing with females in the workplace since focus on sexual harassment has increased, making it harder for them to understand how to interact with women at work. This negatively affects female employment because men become hesitant holding solo meeting, going on business dinners and networking with females. It is predicted that more sexual harassment training will be implemented in companies in order to prevent such controversies from arising.
2018 has been a good year in terms of diverse representation, companies such as Netflix and Uber. This shows other major companies that representation is extremely important in executives. This will make diverse groups more comfortable and confident in the workplace when they interact with someone that is familiar to them.
Inclusive and diverse marketing has been focal in the past year. This can be observed in movies such as Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians and products such as Fenty Beauty by the singer Rihanna which caters to those of darker skin tones. Microsoft has also announced that it is creating an Xbox adaptive controller, which is a specific controller designed for those with disabilities. (Gassam, 2018)
But with that it is still difficult for many businesses to achieve that. This is due to very small details that go unnoticed, but are major when attracting a minority group. These things include:
Certain phrases used in job posts tend to attract male employees more than female employees. The Huffington post said phrases like ‘ninja’ are deemed as masculine, and therefore attract men more than women to a job offer. (Wittenberg, 2017) While most job posters aren’t deliberately being sexist, it is more of a subconscious act. To remedy this, using gender neutral phrases; terms in job offerings such as “guru” and using more descriptive terms such as “accountant”,” engineer” etc. Using machine learning (Artificial intelligence) can also help recruiters identify gender biased language in their past job postings in order to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. (US | Glassdoor for Employers, 2017)
Creating More Opportunities for Dialogue
It is important for a company to create opportunities that allow employees a safe space for voicing their concerns e.g. anonymous complaints box, listening sessions where executives meet with employees to discuss any of their concerns. This may seem time consuming, but if the concerns are tackled early on it won’t cause much of an issue because the first step to fixing an issue is conversing about it. This will also make employees feel less demotivated and discouraged if necessary, audit and action is taken when a complaint is issued. (Gassam, 2018)
Include Goal Setting Bias Training
Setting a specific goal for bias training is key for long term success, especially if the difficulty of the attainable goal is higher. An example would include a trainee setting goals to challenge inappropriate remarks about a marginalized group when overhearing them in the future with a combination of how to handle the situation when it occurs. Another exercise is to make someone take on the role of a member of the LGBTQ or racial minority (taking a walk in their shoes).The point of this is to create more empathy towards these individuals and lessen hostility towards them. (Lindsey et al., 2017)
1. Gassam, J. (2018). Five Diversity And Inclusion Trends We Can Expect In 2019. [online] https://www.forbes.com/sites/janicegassam/2018/12/19/5-diversity-and-inclusion-trends-we-can-expect-in-2019/#17adfdf56f7b .
2. US | Glassdoor for Employers. (2017). 10 Ways to Remove Gender Bias from Job Descriptions.[online] https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/10-ways-remove-gender-bias-job-listings/
3. Gassam, J. (2018). Diversity Without Inclusion Is Useless. [online]
4. Lindsey, A., King, E., Memebre, A. and Cheung, H. (2017). Two Types of Diversity Training That Really Work. [online] Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/07/two-types-of-diversity-training-that-really-work .
5. Wittenberg, A. (2017). Why It's Still So Difficult to Hire a Diverse Team. [online] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289135 .
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