Diversity In The Workplace: 6 Ways To Be An Inclusive Leader
I’ve been a minority my entire life. I believe this has helped me become more in tune with what positive and inclusive leadership looks like. Throughout my working life, I have hired men who are older than me. This power dynamic brought a multitude of issues to overcome. What’s more, I’ve constantly had to earn the respect of others, even when I’ve been in a position of authority. For these reasons and more, I am passionate about diversity and inclusion and I believe in creating a workplace rich in culture, with a variety of ideas, thoughts, and inspirations.
To any leaders out there who feel the same, here are six ways to improve diversity and inclusion at your workplace.
1. Don’t focus solely on accolades
It’s important to understand that minorities may have faced various obstacles that the majority haven’t had to deal with. This is why I don’t focus solely on accolades when looking to grow my team.
Open your mind and show empathy in your recruitment strategies. This approach trickle downs to your company culture. If you’re in a male-dominated industry such as I am, how are you making your workplace more appealing to women? Once you gain momentum, make sure you have processes in place that keeps this culture accountable.
2. Zero tolerance attitude
Be proactive in the way you operate. If you see a situation occurring that is not in line with an inclusive environment, act fast and shut it down immediately.
3. Conformity doesn’t breed diversity
Having a diverse workplace means dealing with a variety of characters and opinions. You and your leadership team needs to be ready for this by constantly challenging the status quo. At eWave, we encourage flexible and remote working, and we offer unlimited paid annual leave. This means we’re able to attract and retain a wider range of talent with diverse lifestyles.
4. Act with humility
Every conversation you ever have is an opportunity to learn. Once you open your mind to thinking like this, you will be able to discover things you’d never have imagined, from people you’d never have imagined.
5. Recruit people who disagree with you
This sounds paradoxical, but it works. Having diverse opinions and ideas drives innovation. Recruiting ‘yes’ men (or ‘yes’ women) will not inspire anyone. However, get the mix just right, and the disagreements will eventually lead to greatness.
6. Use data to help you
Being a global business with over 250 people, we’re constantly collecting data around diversity in the business. From the languages we collectively speak to the gender balance we employ. We use these stats to plan for future recruitment, analysing all the data points to ensure a rich and balanced workplace.