Diversity in the Workplace


workplace diversityIf your organization thinks the reason to have a diverse workforce is simply political correctness, it is time to think again. Given the ever increasingly global nature of business and a national population that will be 57% minority by the year 2060 according to the United States Census Bureau, diversity is essential to business success in many ways.

How is Diversity Defined in the Workplace?

No longer defined by race, ethnicity, and gender, diversity now includes individuals with disabilities, working mothers, and those with different sexual orientations. Age, education, and religious differences can also be considered. In today's workplace, it is vital to think of diversity in the broadest sense and take into account all of the characteristics that make one person different from another.

A diverse staff helps businesses respond with greater insight to different markets and cultures. In addition, a staff that reflects the diversity of its customers has an inherent advantage in establishing productive relationships. The shrinking workforce and graying labor pool will force employers to compete to attract all available employees, and those companies that not only value diversity but manage it well will be in the best position to garner the most talented employees.

4 Essential Elements for Defining your Company's Diversity Initiative

People do not only work for a paycheck — they work to be a part of a culture that is rewarding and comfortable. Customers and clients seek the same comfort level and are quickly coming to expect an enlightened understanding about differences. Now is the time to put a diversity initiative into place by addressing four essential elements:

1. Define Diversity

Define the kind of diversity you are seeking. Organizations must analyze their needs before intentionally building diversity into their ranks.

2. Establish a Commitment to Diversity

Your commitment to diversity should begin at the top with management and be openly communicated with all employees. Make it clear that it is an ongoing effort and that diversity is not only valued, but essential.

3. Look at your Recruiting and Hiring Practices

Put effective recruiting and hiring practices into place to help reach your diversity initiative goals.

4. Strive to Retain Staff

Be sensitive to the needs of a diverse employee base and strive to retain staff by providing training and mentoring programs. New issues will evolve when employees do not all look and think alike — embrace the belief that this is an opportunity, not a requirement.

Meeting Your Diversity Goals

"In my experience, it is important that diversity be recognized as an important contributor to the bottom line with results that are accountable. Diversity must be linked directly to a strategic business plan — and it must begin with recruiting. I help companies identify priorities that serve specific needs so that hiring for diversity is intentional." - Bill Marshall

If your company or organization would like to discuss how to begin or improve diversity recruiting, Bill Marshall, Vice President of Executive Search, is available to review your needs.

216/752-1700 or bmarshall@diseco.com

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Has your company defined a diversity initiative goal? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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P. William Marshall

Bill Marshall, Executive Vice President of Dise & Company’s Search Practice, has twenty-five plus years of experience in executive recruitment for a broad spectrum of industries and functions. Acknowledged throughout the region as one of the leading experts on recruitment, he is regularly called upon to assist in recruiting top talent to his diverse group of corporate clients.