Introduction – What do you mean by DEI?
Today diversity has gained major limelight in the present time not as just an HR process but as an overall strategy. According to a McKinsey Report, organizations that have embraced diversity have witnessed greater financial performance compared to less diverse peers. Moreover, according to a Forrester report, diversity leads to a 56% hike in productivity and performance as well as a 50% drop in turnover risks. Hence, DEI initiatives have gained major traction to help organizations to implement diversity at their workplace. But what does DEI stand for?
DEI stands for Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Diversity refers to the different identities and personalities present in the organization. Equity refers to the unbiased and equal availability of work opportunities and benefits for every individual working for the organization. Lastly, Inclusion refers to the process of ensuring a sense of belongingness at the workplace.
Hence, for building a firm base for your company to stand upon, DEI is crucial. So let’s try to understand each of the components broadly for a holistic understanding of DEI and its importance in the workplace.
What is included in DEI?
In the previous section, we explained that DEI comprises three components: Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Despite being interrelated, these components have their unique principles. In this section, we will divide the components separately and provide better insights into the same. So let’s start with the former.
What is Diversity?
Diversity, in general, refers to a range or variety. And it is not different when put in the workspace. Diversity in the workplace refers to the mix of employees who come from different cultures, ethnicities, and perspectives to work and relate to each other under one shed.
However, diversity simply does not mean a hetero-cultural workforce. McKinsey categorizes diversity in the workplace into three groups – gender, cultural, and ethnic diversity. Hence, when it comes to diversity identification you must analyze age, gender, sexuality, race, disability, class as well as education.
The Timeline of Diversity – How Diversity has changed with time?
The origin of diversity started with President Truman’s signing Executive Order 9981 in 1948, to eliminate the segregation of the US Army. The regulation, however, with time were adopted as the base principle to eliminate ethnic bias and discrimination in the workplace.
However, when diversity was seen as a representation of minority groups only, a shift in the definition became apparent. Hence, today diversity means variation in gender, race, sexuality, culture, experience as well as knowledge.
The goal of successfully implementing diversity in the workplace is to recognize every diverse employee as unique rather than various attributes as labeled on the paper. Therefore, organizations need to get a deeper understanding of their employees to meet the criteria of true diversity. This criterion, thereby, leads to inclusion.
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion refers to the practice of providing equal, fair, and just opportunities for work and development for the growth of diverse individual talents. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace go hand-in-hand, despite equity coming in the middle. Since, if diversity means developing a workforce consisting of a mix of gender, ethnicism, and culture; inclusion refers to the practice of providing them an opportunity to prove their potential.
Gartner says that implementing inclusion strategies enhances employee engagement as well as deriving prime benefits including:
- 6.2% hike in an on-the-job effort
- 5% increase in employee’s decision to stick to the organization
- Individual employee performance increment by 3%
Now how do you incorporate diversity and inclusion in the workplace? That is where equity comes into play.
What is Equity?
Equity refers to the practice of instituting policies to support diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In other words, equity means accommodating employees’ requirements based on their uniqueness. To bestow equity and generate the best possible outcomes for employees in the organization, employers and HRs must identify barriers and benefits.
Moreover, people often confuse “equity” with “equality”. Despite sounding the same, the two differ widely when it comes to principles. Hence, we have tried to differentiate these terms such that you can understand them better.
What is the difference between Equality and Equity?
While often confused as synonyms the terms differ when it comes to the following criteria:
- Principle: Equality in the workplace refers to the practice of identifying employees as equal within the boundaries of the organization. Thereby, organizations treat diverse employees in a similar fashion. However, by the following equity, organizations recognize individual differences to consider individual requirements.
- Biasness: Equality often leads to bias and discrimination, while with equity, bias remains in check.
Now that you have a thorough understanding of what these components are, let’s take a look at how Diversity Inclusion and Equity differ from each other.
How do Diversity Equity and Inclusion differ from one another?
So far it is clear that DEI is the joint formation of three components and is meaningless when even a single component is absent. Diversity Equity and Inclusion differ in functionality and the importance they hold to make an organization diverse in itself. Some of the factors that differentiate Diversity Equity and Inclusion include:
- Definition: Diversity recognizes the difference in gender, culture, and ethnicity in the organization. On the other hand, inclusion makes sure that every individual gets an equal opportunity to work and progress without facing any discrimination. Lastly, equity ensures that diversity and inclusion are maintained across the organization.
- Importance: Diversity enables receiving of new perspectives from various life experiences that optimize and refine processes and find better solutions to operational challenges. On the other hand, inclusion provides a sense of belonging that retains employees and enhances organizational values. Equity, lastly, recognizes the uniqueness of each talent, barriers, and advantages to ensure enhanced productivity and zero discrimination.
But why is DEI so important in today’s workplaces? Well, some of these common priorities voiced by major organizations will surely make you understand their importance.
What are the common priorities of Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the workplace?
Forbes has conducted a survey of 300 senior executives out of which 32% were talent acquisition specialists and HRs. The survey provided a holistic report on the common Diversity Equity Inclusion priorities of these organizations, which include:
- 65% of the survey respondents voiced about the selection and hiring of diverse talents
- 44% of the respondents said diverse employee retention
- 35% want DEI for workplace diversity maintenance
- 29% want to implement Diversity Inclusion and Equity for a robust pipeline development using diverse candidates
- 28% of respondents voiced their primary priority as cross-generational issue management
So does DEI fulfill the above list? Well, Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the workplace help to achieve this and more. The following list provides you with a complete overview of the benefits that organizations have achieved after implementing Equity Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.
Why is DEI so important in today’s workplace?
In the introduction itself, we have stated that DEI tends to enhance employee as well as financial performance while reducing turnover issues. This in itself has helped DEI to gain major traction today. Forbes highlighted 15 reasons why DEI initiatives are adopted on a large scale. These Diversity Equity Inclusion benefits include:
- 120% faster reach of target goals
- Helps in understanding target customers better
- Enhances employee safety and engagement
- Optimized productivity for higher financial performance
- Adds innovation and creativity in daily operations
- Provides different perspectives to overcome challenges
- Individual growth leads to overall business development
- Different perspectives lead to innovation and growth in the digital economy
- Gain a competitive advantage when it comes to diverse audience reach
- Enables enhanced decision-making and better productivity
- Eliminates sense of seclusion while working from home
- Enhances organizational value
- Helps in maintaining psychological safety for better focus on performance
- Elevates sympathy for better relationship development and team-play
- Higher chances to retain diverse talent
So how can you implement Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the workplace correctly? Hence, we have added a list of the best DEI practices that you can use in your organizations to outrun your competitors.
10 Best DEI practices for an Enhanced Diversity Promotion
Professionals’ biggest challenge when it comes to Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the workplace is how to begin. Some of the ways they can start to maintain diversity equity inclusion at their organization include:
- Ensuring fair treatment of every individual talent across the organization
- Providing equal access to opportunity and growth to all employees
- Encourage the practice of collaboration and teamwork
- Put extreme emphasis on creativity and innovation
- Ensuring agility, flexibility, and responsiveness enhancement of the organization
- Implementing collaborative conflict and risk evaluation processes
- Providing leadership commitment evidence to diversity
- Portraying diversity in the different organizational hierarchy
- Representing diversity to both internal as well as external stakeholders
- Empowering education and training on diversity
But how to make strategic moves when it comes to Diversity Inclusion and Equity? We have the answer for that too. Simply continue reading to know more about strategic DEI initiatives.
What are the best strategic DEI initiatives?
Bersin by Deloitte’s Diversity and Inclusion framework defines the best strategic DEI initiatives as the practice that touches everything from executive support to HR and leadership. However, the report further narrows down a list of 10 strategic DEI initiatives that major organizations like Sodexo, Novartis, and AT&T have been investing in for years. These DEI initiatives include:
- Top focus and strategy development at the CHRO, COO, or CEO level
- Assigning the sponsoring and leading responsibility of inclusion and diversity programs to a high-management executive
- Holding leaders accountable for the development and results of behavioral standards and diversity metrics
- Providing training across the organization on minimizing and eliminating unconscious bias
- Diversity and inclusion strategy integration into recruitment processes, training, performance management, and leadership assessments
- Development of employee resource and community outreach groups, as well as other employee networks
- Encouraging members across the organization to participate in external award programs
- Embracing and respecting diverse religious and cultural practices
- Reinforcing anti-discrimination strategies and policies
- Keeping a track of performance metrics and goal reports
- Visualizing organizational progress measurement using external transparent scoreboards
As per HRM, HR teams are burdened with a huge workload to fulfill additional duties effectively. So, how can HRs maintain Equity Diversity, and Inclusion in the workplace efficiently? That’s why cognitive technologies have extended a helping hand to optimize DEI maintenance and management with accuracy for the best result. Check out the following section to understand how cognitive technology-enabled tools are helping HR and recruitment teams to enhance diversity at their workplace.
How Technology aids you with Diversity Equity and Inclusion Implementation in your Organization?
Cognitive technologies have optimized recruitment as well as major HRM operations with its advent. Similarly, technology has acted as a major beneficiary for HRs when it comes to Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The demand for maintaining compliance as well as enhancing business values and morals have made DEI initiatives a top priority in today’s corporate sector. Some of the ways in which Diversity Equity Inclusion technological solutions have enabled organizations to enhance diversity include:
Removes Bias from Talent Acquisition
Diversity Equity and Inclusion technology solutions have invariably optimized the hiring process. DEI solutions provide options to attract and source diverse talents, remove human bias, and effective candidate selection, with facilities:
- ML algorithms and text analysis technology to remove bias during resume sifting and talent screening
- Recognized talent-based job boards for extensive and diverse talent sourcing
- AI video interview solutions to assess candidates’ potential based on communication skills, confidence levels, knowledge, and experience
Hence, diversity inclusion and equity solutions accelerate talent acquisition which is the building block for creating a diverse workforce.
Empowers Learning and Development
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion solutions have opened up opportunities to optimize diversity in the workplace. HR teams can provide knowledge on unconscious bias, virtual reality awareness, and diversity through training that Diversity Inclusion and Equity solutions provide. Diversity Equity Inclusion solutions use the following to provide a wide knowledge and training opportunities for HRs to promote the word of diversity across their organization:
- Communication channels
- Post-event training support
- VR training
- Behavior assessments
- Networking conferences and events
- Personalized career roadmaps
- Employee-executive cross-examining
- Talent-mentor connecting platforms
Furthermore, Diversity Inclusion and Equity solutions help organizations to recognize, flag, and offer bias-removal structure suggestions. These structures help in removing bias from recognition practices, performance feedback, and scores.
Diversity Equity Inclusion solutions help organizations to understand and plan for diverse workforce experiences. DEI solutions aid in conducting employee surveys to analyze and enhance inclusion. These solutions analyze written communication and slack to remove bias. Using text and sentiment analysis along with ML algorithms, Diversity Equity Inclusion solutions to develop custom questions and search for traces of bias in feedback themes.
Furthermore, DEI solutions also scan workforce communication platforms to find traces of bias. Lastly, employees get the opportunity to anonymously report about experienced bias to help HR teams remove bias in the internal workplace.
DEI Analytics and Insights
HR teams can conduct representations, identify KPIs and analyze pay equity with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion solutions. Furthermore, DEI software provides insights into the following for enhanced decision-making:
- Network Inclusion
- Talent acquisition and recruitment processes
- ERGs measurements
- DEI performance impacts quantification
- Diversity financial impact estimation
- Diverse employee promotion
- Diverse talent turnover rates
Hence, analytics help organizations enhance cultural awareness and inclusive workplace opportunity development.
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How to select the Best Software for an Enhanced DEI in your Workplace?
Selecting the best software that can meet your business requirements and provide enhanced DEI management services can be quite challenging. Hence, you must not be haste and rather be patient and choosy when it comes to DEI software. However, if you have no idea about where to begin then simply follow the 5 ways to get your hands on the apt DEI solution for your organization.
Analyze your Business Necessities
Whether you want to select a new Diversity Inclusion and Equity solution or replace an existing software, firstly you need to check your internal and external needs. For that, you can analyze and find the answer to these questions:
- What are the DEI bottleneck procedures at your organization?
- How can technology like AI streamline these processes?
Once you have the answers you can easily understand the type of solution you require and easily set up a budget for the same.
Set up your Budget
The second step includes creating an investment plan. For that, you first need to evaluate the expenditure you usually spend on managing and implementing DEI initiatives at your workplace. Secondly, create a feature list of the product you want to have in your Diversity Inclusion and Equity solution. Combining the two will easily provide you with a budget for your Diversity Inclusion and Equity solution.
For the latter, you can look into product pages and quotes for a holistic idea of how much these solutions can cost you. Furthermore, you can also check out in which parts can these solutions help you to optimize financial performance.
Did you know? Free DEI solutions often provide you with some basic features. Moreover, these also provide some advanced features which come at a premium. This can wreck your budget. Furthermore, much free Diversity Inclusion and Equity solutions do not provide you with configuration and you may spend ample time just custom configuring it and troubleshooting problems that come across to meet your requirements. So it is wise to analyze product features and quotes and go for the ultimate DEI solution for your organization!
Research about Vendors
Once you have fixed your budget you can start looking for vendors. Yet you will come across a thousand names if you search HRMS software on Google. Hence, you should check the most minute details of software providers before making the final call of selection. Some of the details you can check to get your hands on the best DEI solution provider include:
- Check out their market position and reputation
- Analyze reviews and ratings on their site and third-party sites
- Take an in-depth tour of their portfolio and product use cases
- Examine their product description and find about their quotes
- Compare features and quotes with other DEI software features
For the final step, you should have a complete understanding of a product’s features for better comparison. For that, you need to follow the next step.
Get Minutest Details about the DEI Solutions
To derive the minutest details of a DEI solution, it is advisable to check their online product demos. This will help you to understand the product better and make an effective decision when it comes to selection. Furthermore, you will also be able to spend your time elsewhere rather than tackling numerous sales executives at your workplace. But you should not take the final call based on these alone. Read on to know the final step that you need to take before getting the best DEI solution for your organization.
Ensure Additional Services
In the last step, you need to make sure about the company’s configuration, installation, and set-up along with maintenance and support services. It is always recommended to use a SAAS solution for the best results. Since SAAS solutions do not take a huge amount of time when it comes to installation and configuration. Hence, SAAS solutions easily integrate into your daily operations without creating roadblocks.
Check out why Birbal is the most preferred DEI solution and how it has easily removed bias from recruitment processes of major sectors across the globe and enhanced diversity right from here!
Organizations around the world are spending billions of dollars to maintain Diversity Equity and Inclusion at their organization, says Forbes. Since employees have started to look for workplace environments where they can learn from one another and celebrate diversity. Moreover, good intentions, training, and public promotion are not just enough to implement DEI successfully at your organization. Forbes states, leveraging data and cognitive technologies can not only help organizations to implement DEI initiatives successfully but make a healthier and diverse workplace to work in.
So why wait when you can leverage data using trending technologies like ML and Data Science to enhance diversity at your organization? Birbal segments and analyzes data such that you can make the most effective step when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, ML algorithms help to identify and eradicate minute traces of bias for discrimination-free selection, hiring, and management. Try out the free trial and experience the power of automation and data today!
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