Diversity & Inclusion: Practice Makes Perfect

By: Ayana King

All month long, PRSA is celebrating diversity and inclusion in the Society and beyond.  And while many global organizations have shifted their focus to include a more diverse and inclusive work culture, there is still plenty of room for improvement.

First, it’s important to understand – diversity alone does little to grow a more inclusive environment. Real change is recognized when hiring practices, unchecked bias and training opportunities are discussed, and plans to increase overall Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) goals are established. Here, a few ways organizations can put their diversity and inclusion goals on the fast-track.

Recruitment Practices

Increasing diversity in the workplace is complex. It’s more complex than hiring people of color in an effort to show a multicultural landscape. Diversity celebrates cultural differences in ethnicity, but also in gender and orientation, age, ability and socioeconomic differences. When recruiting, consider doing a “blind” resume screening to eliminate the chance of inherent bias. Omitting candidates’ names and addresses is a great way to ensure every new-hire-hopeful receives a fair chance at becoming a part of your organization.

Inclusivity

 Diversity is nothing without inclusion. Embracing our differences yields great opportunities in the workforce. Creativity and innovation explode, we gain new perspective, and untapped markets open up. Take a quick look around your board room; if your organization lacks diversity, it lacks opportunity.

Recognize Bias

Workplace culture doesn’t change overnight; commitments to assessment and improvement are essential. Recognizing bias is a great place to start when cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion in your organization.

Team Building

Plan a team building exercise, enjoy an office pot luck lunch, or hit happy hour after work. Encouraging team members to engage one another outside the typical office environment is a great way to grow a more inclusive atmosphere.

Host a D&I Workshop

Solidify your commitment to diversity and inclusion by hosting a D&I workshop for all team members. Open dialogue goes a long way when discussing issues of race, equity and empathy in the workplace. Bring a professional on board to help with the process. Moving the conversation passed bias to include intervention methods are critical to the success of any organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy.

As D&I become an increasingly important point of discussion in the workplace, keep the conversation going. Find great ideas for increasing diversity and inclusion in your organization and don’t forget to check out PRSA-Detroit’s Diversity Committee page to get involved!

 

The PRSA Detroit Diversity Committee encourages opportunities to meet and network with our diverse community of professionals. Our potential is limitless, especially when we make a conscious effort to support the collaborative culture the PR and communications field is known for. If you have a story to share, contact Ayana King or Lisa Peers.