In our most recent post, we focused on the matter of supporting women in the workplace, after the impact this International Women’s Day has had on us all. We wanted to continue on the track of equality and give you the second part of our series; which is based on how to be inclusive, diverse and equal in your business.
A small percentage of 19% of UK employees believe there is gender equality in their workplace. The hope is to up this number, and with our HR tips and support, we’ll do what we can to help you, your employees, and your business in its equal workplace strategy.
When it comes to inclusivity, diversity and equality, you must note the link between each section. As well as how each interacts and works with one another to balance out the field for everyone. So first, let’s cover the distinctions and relations in each area.
Inclusivity is described as the culture of having every person be heard, made to feel comfortable and valued as a human being. Having equal opportunities for people of every kind is key to being inclusive for businesses.
Diversity is the variety of different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, disabilities, sexual orientations, religions and backgrounds, that exist, are acknowledged and supported.
Now we have the main link; equality. The goal and meaning of equality are for individuals of every kind to be treated equally; irrelevant of their characteristics.
See the link? The overall goal is to set a level playing field for every person, without the differences of each person affecting their chances of growth and involvement.
A link shared between all these subjects is an area that was highlighted in the International Women’s Day campaign, and that was biases in the workplace.
Breaking the Bias
“Imagine a gender-equal world.
A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive, a world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Together we can forge women’s equality.
Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.”
The hashtag ‘#BreakTheBias‘ was the focus of this year’s International Women’s Day campaign, with the movement fueling the battle against biases that may be active in workplaces across the country.
What is a Bias?
A bias is a preconceived, subjective way of thinking, and usually results in an unsupported notion being believed by many people, and is assumed from then onwards.
There are a number of common biases individuals experience, with a good number being that of an unconscious standpoint, and identifying any that are active in your company’s workplace is important.
For instance, some unconscious biases may include:
- Gender bias – i.e. maternal bias.
- Cultural bias – i.e. stereotyping.
- Appearance bias – i.e. beauty bias.
And it isn’t just limited to these areas; race, sexual orientation, age and so many more can be unconsciously judged upon; so make sure you identify any biases that may be active in your team if you’re looking to strive for your company to have an equal workplace.
Next, let’s look at what else you should be doing to make your employees feel heard and supported.
Our HR Guidance to an equal workplace.
So then, you’ve spotted some areas of concern in your business.
This could be from staff having a lack of understanding of other cultural practices, discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees, or beyond.
From this, let’s narrow down some of the ways you can combat these issues.
Start: From the word go.
For instance, think about your current hiring process. Are your job descriptions clear and easy to read from someone out of your business? Are you only posting job listings on the same popular recruitment platform? Varying your content and distribution brings variety in; which is exactly what you want.
“Teams that are gender, age and ethnically diverse make better decisions up to 87% of the time.” (Global Diversity Practice)
Plus, by having a great process of hiring, you open yourself to a plethora of talent and potential employees, so make sure it is polished to the highest degree.
Focus: On training, training, and more training.
Show your employees you’re ready to adapt, learn and teach; all with the goal of their needs in mind. Offer training and support to everyone, and be willing to take the time to let people learn.
This could be anything from someone learning sign language to learning how to treat their own colleagues equally; we should all be making the effort to better ourselves.
Balance: Work vs home life.
Offer flexibility in work. After the recent pandemic, we’ve seen many more companies join in flexible working; as shown in our previous blog, whether that be in shorter working weeks, or adapted work schedules and location choices.
Broadening your workplace areas not only boosts productivity but also gives your company a wider, more diverse audience. Someone who may be wheelchair-bound can’t work in an inaccessible office, but can bring you in three times as many customers; so make sure you adapt for all needs.
Be: Open and honest.
Practice what you preach by making sure you’re showing your employees the active measures you’re taking to improve equality in your business, and how you can help them in an open and communicative way.
Moreover, show in your business plan the efforts and proactiveness you hold for equality, and if you’re struggling with where to start, we’re here to help.
Show: Your support.
Taking a holistic approach with your support system for employees and bringing in the proper HR measures and systems makes a whole world of difference to both them and you.
Cultivate: An equal workplace.
In conclusion, wrap all of this up together, and think about it from an individual point of view; what does your company need to work on first? Are you quite close to an ideal equality system or are you miles off? Either way, take it step by step and aim high; as you never know, we may reach equality in all workplaces one day.
But also, don’t forget, no workplace is perfect, but what you can perfect is your outlook and strategies in handling incidents of inequality in your business.
“Be conscious and inclusive – not exclusive.” Rob Blake, 2022.
333 can help:
For help on all subjects of equality in the workplace and any other HR Support, please feel free to get in touch. Call 0333 050 3330, use our contact page or email us at email@example.com.