If you’re a business owner, these words/topics have no doubt come across your desk recently. Maybe you’ve even talked about them with fellow business owners/leaders. The difficulty with simply talking about diversity, equity and inclusion right now is the need for real action. (Notice the title of this post is not “Embracing A More Diverse Future.”) The world is watching and taking notice at the present.
Your actions speak much louder than your words at the moment. What can businesses do to match their actions to their core values on intentional inclusion?
DE+I experts say best practices include broadening your talent pool for open positions to include more diverse candidates for positions. There are numerous benefits to building a more diverse team. From increased innovation, to new ways of thinking—even improved financial performance, but one of the most important benefits is the addition of new perspectives.
In order to improve your field of vision, and ensure you are taking advantage of different background, cultures and world views, it is important to be intentional about expanding your field of references and engaging with intentional curiosity.
New perspectives can open up your world—and your mind—to ideas, processes or ways of working that you’ve never even considered. That alone has the potential to provide positive change for your business—broadening your appeal to a wider array of candidates, vendors and customers.
Once you’ve brought in a more diverse team, make inclusion a top priority.
Inclusion means making everyone feel like they are part of the organization. No one enjoys being an outsider. If they’re part of your organization, invite them into larger conversations and let their voices be heard. The more welcome they feel, the more comfortable they can be in their position, the more likely they’ll be to contribute in a meaningful and deliberate manner.
An important point to remember here is that the very idea of inclusion must start at the top. If senior leaders are not contributing to an inclusive workspace, it will undoubtedly create tension and uncomfortable moments. Engaging in inclusion training or creating an inclusion plan may be necessary to establish consistency and help everyone understand how things work, while also serving as a reset to level the playing field for all.
There’s still a healthy amount of confusion surrounding the very idea of equity. Most confuse it with equality. While equality is definitely important, it’s not the same thing.
In the workplace, equity is all about creating and maintaining fairness—ensuring every system and process gives everyone a fair chance for advancement and success.
A major culprit in denying equity is old rules, systems or structures that haven’t been updated or changed in a while. Taking a step back, looking at how your organization is structured and making any necessary adjustments to improve fairness will go a long way toward achieving a more equitable environment for all.
While adding diversity seems straightforward, the challenge for companies is creating an environment that thrives on different perspectives, represented by the broad richness of our community. Making room for everyone is not only the right thing to do, it is also good business.
With 95 years of servicing businesses large and small throughout Florida, Seacoast has the financial knowledge and expertise to guide and inspire. Our technology and information rival the nation’s biggest banks, but our focus on the community means we never lose sight of you and your business.
Reach out today and experience what it’s like to have a banking partner that’s always got your back—ready and waiting with solutions that fit your business perfectly.