The new normal is bringing a big platter of company changes to the table in 2021. Among them is a move to encourage and promote more diversity in the workplace, as reported in an earlier article.
In mid-December, career site Comparably released the results of its fourth annual poll of the best large companies for diversity in the U.S. Confidential voting was invited from non-white voters, and placing first was a brand familiar to everyone, Microsoft. However, the second-place winner was RingCentral, a relatively unknown public-traded phone system with nearly 2,400 employees based in Belmont, California.
In addition to rating the top 50 large companies with more than 500 employees, Comparably also rated diversity for the top 50 companies less than 500. Upgrade, a neobank based in San Francisco, placed first and was followed by Sitetracker and InDinero.
Some of the metrics used to rate the top companies are important to others seeking to improve diversity within their organization
Of the 50 questions covering 20 core metrics, central to them were issues of salaries, career growth opportunities, work environment (including work-life balance), and multiple-choice questions about what it was to work in the company as a person of color. Over the course of a year, more than 10 million ratings were compiled on 60,000 U.S. firms.
A diversity strategy begins with a commitment and goal followed by affirmative action, starting with diverse communicators. They will be the conscience of the company. Also, central to success is having a workforce population that reflects the target audience.
Joining and participating in diverse business organizations can be invaluable to gain deep insight and help introduce new perspectives. It can also lead to new business opportunities as well as open additional doors for recruitment.
Open and candid communication with employees is always important
Keeping them apprised of the organization’s diversity initiatives is paramount. So, too, is drafting and distributing guidelines for open forums where employees can feel free to discuss their views without fear of retaliation or censorship.
Assembling a diverse workforce is but one step. Inviting and including them at the table is yet another. This means not just the person in charge of diversity reporting to the CEO but might also include employees of color filling other seats within the organization. This includes marketing, digital PR, customer service, sales, community service, etc. Inclusion is important.
Don’t forget suppliers, contractors, and vendors
It’s equally important that they’re made aware of the company’s vision and diversity efforts. It may even be valuable having one or two at the company’s diversity table, depending on the nature of the company’s business,
Measurable change won’t occur overnight, but like a good marketing strategy, establish a baseline and continue to measure and monitor metrics that matter to the company and its set goals. Be prepared to make adjustments when needed, and invite input from company leaders of diversity.
Finally, be sure to communicate the company’s initiatives and successes with all of its audiences, including community and government leaders and the news media.