Are your leaders comfortable being uncomfortable?

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"Diversity" might have become a buzzword, but the benefits of an inclusive company culture are well known.

Diversity is a word we hear a lot in this industry — from the promotion of Women in Mining, to avoiding age, cultural and sexual biases in our recruitment and ongoing operations. Creating an inclusive workplace is actually a hot topic across many industries. But it’s easier said than done.

I’m sure you are all that we can be affected by subconscious biases in the workplace.  One key bias is the affinity bias, which leads us to favour people who are similar to ourselves. This affects the recruitment process but also our perceptions of team and organisational success. Overcoming this requires a conscious effort that can make us feel uncomfortable.

A recent study (Madera, Dawson & Neal, 2017) asked 170 managers who worked in the hospitality industry in the United States their perception of diversity and how it was integrated into their organisation. 

Their key findings were:

  • Managers who perceived their diversity initiative to be useful had a higher rating of their organisations approach to diversity
  • Managers who perceived their diversity initiative to be important had a higher rating of their organisation’s approach to diversity
  • Managers who perceived their diversity initiative to be fair had a higher rating of their organisation’s approach to diversity
  • For managers from organisations that had fair diversity management programs, their ratings of their organisation’s approach to diversity were less affected by the usefulness and perceived importance of the diversity initiative.

This research suggests fairness and consistency is highly important in the workplace, particularly when it comes to diversity.

Ensuring diversity initiatives are user-friendly and promoting awareness of the importance of these programs will also promote diversity in your organisation.

An individual creates an impression of their organisation’s approach to diversity based on initiatives, policies and observed behaviours.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you and your leaders hire a diverse workforce?
  • Do you and your leaders believe diversity is important?
  • Are you and your leaders comfortable being uncomfortable?
  • Do you and your leaders promote fairness in the workplace?

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Get in touch.

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