Too many companies strive for an inclusive and diverse culture, but find themselves stuck when it comes to brass tax. Anva , Heuschenadvocate of D&I at Voxbone, has put thoughts to paper. She explains why you shouldn’t implement a hiring policy, and some tips for achieving diversity in your workplace.
Diversity matters. In fact, a more diverse workforce is a smarter workforce. Research has shown time and time again that diversity and inclusion shouldn’t be an empty promise, but a smart business decision. A 2015 McKinsey report found that companies were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above the industry medians when positioned in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management, and 15 percent more likely to have returns above the industry medians when in the top quartile for gender diversity. Though, if financial gain isn’t enough incentive, Harvard Business Review points out that diverse teams are more fact-focused, more analytic with those facts, and more innovative.
However, diversity stretches farther than an unlike group of employees. Organizations that extend their diversity into the boardroom, according to Forbes, are more aware, more adaptable and more amenable.
With a plethora of benefits to a diverse environment, we ask, why are so many tech companies falling behind on the diversity curve? While the biggest names in the tech industry are unanimous in their calls for a more diverse workforce, even the most diverse companies are coming up short of the equal opportunity ideal. On a list of the most diverse companies in tech, striving for the top of the list means facing some pretty fierce competition, but it’s not an unachievable goal.
Also Read: 4 Workplace Diversity Trends for 2019
From most to least diverse:
Airbnb (52.5% m, 47.5% f)
eBay (58.1% m, 41.9% f)
LinkedIn (61.9% m, 38.1% f)
Voxbone (65% m, 35% f)
Hewlett-Packard (66.9% m, 33.1% f)
Facebook (71.2% m, 28.8% f)
Google (72.2% m, 27.8% f)
Cisco (74.4% m, 26.6% f)
Microsoft (75.7% m, 24.3% f)
Intel (76.2% m, 23.8% f)
Thirty-five percent of high-tech companies have diversity initiatives in place, but the need for a hiring policy is outdated. Companies can have competitive diversity by hiring the best, most qualified people, without being unconscious of the gender balance in their workforce, management team and board members.
Ideal.com defines diversity hiring as, “[hiring] based on merit with special care taken to ensure procedures are free from biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job performance.”
It’s obvious why simply hiring candidates based on individual merit should always be the case — nature does not distribute talent according to sex, gender, or ethnicity. By leaving out the notions of prejudice, organizations can inherently end up with a more diverse workforce.
Hiring a new candidate shouldn’t be based on an internal hiring policy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking to create a truly diverse workplace without implementing a hiring policy:
Don’t be afraid of working moms
Don’t hesitate to hire women who are at the age where they may want to start a family. Motherhood shouldn’t be seen as a disruptor to business operations. In this day and age, men and women alike can pursue their desire to start a family while continuing to work with minimal interruption. Having an organization inclusive of working parents is important in creating a family-friendly culture that runs throughout the company.
Encourage a healthy work/life balance equally
Employees have a life outside of the office. Encouraging both male and female employees to find a healthy work/life balance will allow them to reduce stress, while still being productive and remaining ambitious in meeting the organization’s objectives.
Hire people based on individual merit
Hiring solely based on race or gender is, by definition, biased. Diversity hiring boils down to bringing in the perfect person for any role, with the right mindset and work ethic to fit into the company’s culture. The focus should be on hiring a candidate based on merit, not to check a box and meet an internal quota.
Be attracted to different
True diversity and inclusion should be taken very seriously. Creating a diverse company culture is not just about gender or race, but also culture, religion, sexual orientation, and nationality. Getting ahead of the curve when it comes to diversity means being inclusive and genuinely interested in people who are different.
For many, the idea that hiring the most qualified, motivated and willing candidate feels unsatisfying, but imposing hiring policies that turn away a perfect fit in the name of diversity hinders the possibility of a truly cohesive organization.