Diversity seems to keep coming up on my radar these last few weeks. I am not sure what that means. I was speaking with one or my #ProjectSocial (What’s up with that Ben/Victorio ?) partners Laura Schroeder about this matter in one of our Skype conversations. I asked Laura to give me her take on the big “D”. After a few minutes we decided to just write about the matter. If you would like to know what she had to say about it head on over to her Working Girl blog and check it out, and you can find out Lyn Hoyt’s take on it over at her blog the HR Bacon Hut.
In the meantime, I am left to collect my thoughts about Diversity. For some reason my default thought is always Race, Religion and Gender, when someone first speaks the “D” word. Well I have learned enough in my 50+ years, to know that may well be a small portion of the issue but it ain’t the whole enchilada.
Diversity has seemed to grow and change over the years. It is as if Diversity has become more diverse!
When I hear the experts pontificate on the matter, I hear the stories of how our workplace cultures need to have more diversity in generations, sexual orientation, thought, income levels, where we make our homes, or attended college, not to mention, race, religion and gender, all of which makes good sense – call it organizational balance. But how does an organization achieve this lofty goal.
I know how the EEOC wants us to achieve the necessary diversity an employer must maintain to be a Federal contractor, but I am curious as to how to achieve and measure the more squishy aspects of diversity. I also know what I need to do, in my mind, to ensure our organization is welcoming of others; people who may think, speak, or view things differently that the majority of the people in our organization. However ultimately I guess I can’t put a percentage on it.
While global organizations can take on Diversity with a big stick and a big check, the smaller organizations are left to try to do the right thing with the resources and knowledge that they have available to them. Sadly sometimes there are few resources and even less knowledge about diversity.
The one concept I find myself relying upon is something that I learned many years ago in this arena.
It is unlikely that your organization has made any efforts to exclude anyone or group, BUT have you made a real effort to include people who are different?
If you can answer yes to that question you are probably in pretty good shape – and forget the numbers.