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What Is the First Step to Achieving Diversity in Your Workplace?

I believe diversity, equity, and inclusion should be an integral component of any organisation’s business strategy. At Clicks, we wholeheartedly believe our talented and diverse workforce is the reason we’re so successful. This diversity helps us both culturally and commercially. Fortunately, there is a wealth of data available about the benefits of diversity in the workplace – so you don’t need to take my word for it – if you or your stakeholders need further convincing. For example, McKinsey found companies with great gender diversity within their executive teams were 21% more likely to have leading profitability within their industry, while organisations with culturally diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to outdo their competitors on profitability. In a candidate tight market, it’s also important to know that 70% of job seekers value organisations that have a commitment to diversity.

So, how do you achieve workplace diversity?

I believe the first step to any successful diversity and inclusion strategy requires obtaining executive sponsorship. In my experience, obtaining robust executive endorsement involves firstly understanding your ‘WHY’ of pursuing a diverse workplace. It should be more than ‘because everyone else is and we’ll be left behind’, or ‘it just feels like the right thing to do because we’re good people’. You need to be able to quantify the benefits and articulate them from a business owner’s perspective. This involves:

  • Presenting how a diversity and inclusion strategy aligns with business goals.
  • Collecting workplace data to provide clarity on the current and idealfuture states.
  • Providing insights into what other organisations are doing.
  • Understand the full range of benefits: employee wellbeing, societal, employer brand / value proposition, financial, risk and business continuity.
  • Highlighting what your organisation can do. Be sure to define each initiative in a SMART way, with a clear ‘definition of done’ and what the benefits are. Plot each initiative on an X/Y graph with cost vs impact to clearly identify the ‘low hanging fruit’ (low cost + high impact). These initiatives are a great place to start.
  • Understanding leading practices through research, networking, and trusted partnerships.

What does good executive sponsorship look like?

When asking for executive sponsorship, it helps if you are clear about what you are asking your leaders to do. Good executive sponsorship includes:

  • Leading by example and being supportive of the DE&I programs, decisions, and strategies.
  • Being actively involved in communicating the organisation’s commitment to DE&I and promoting related initiatives.
  • Sponsoring agreed programs and training.
  • Making time to be updated regularly about the issues, progress, and best practices.

Next steps

Congratulations, you have presented the above data to your Executive team in a succinct, professional way and have received the executive endorsement you are looking for! But, what now? I think the focus should be on: creating a diverse and inclusive culture in which all staff feel welcome and developing a recruitment strategy that attracts a diverse pool of candidates. It’s important to focus on both retention and hiring efforts so you can grow and nurture a workplace environment that embraces differences.

Finally, implementing diversity and inclusion in a workplace is not a one-off event. It is a calendar of planned events, celebrations, training, policies, practices and initiatives that promote ongoing learning, action and awareness by a group of employees who are passionate on the subject and empowered by the Executive to make decisions.

We will be sharing more on how to achieve workplace diversity through recruitment. If you are interested in learning more, subscribe so you don’t miss out.

Clicks specialises in IT recruitment and has organisational design capability to support your organisation. Clicks has trusted partnerships with Australia’s most effective diversity enterprises. Whether your goals include more female, neurodiverse, LGBTIQ, or indigenous workers, we have a partner network to guarantee an appropriate and culturally sensitive recruitment experience. For any hiring needs please reach out to your Clicks Account Manager or 1300 CLICKS for a confidential discussion.

Sam Micich
Chief Operating Officer

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