Organizations are investing in developing competencies for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace. As employee demographics become increasingly diverse, EDI competencies are more important now than ever before.
Many employers make statements about ‘embracing diversity’ but how can they go beyond these sentiments to create an authentic culture of inclusion? What actions can employers take that reflect a commitment to attract, engage and retain members of diverse communities?
Let’s use a metaphor of a house to illustrate the importance of going beyond merely valuing diversity and moving toward greater degrees of equity and inclusion. Imagine that this house – just like a place of employment – is a space where everybody is welcome to enter. Employers who ‘value diversity’ are essentially throwing open the doors of the house and saying that all are welcome.
Imagine the inside of this house is built like a maze, with walls and corridors leading off in all directions. Only those familiar with the house will be able to find their way through the maze (or organizational culture). Creating equity is comparable to renovating the house to remove barriers for those who wish to enter. With barriers removed, inclusion is like setting a place at the table for everyone to be served what they need – just as in the workplace it’s essential to ensure that each person’s unique identity is made welcome and validated.
Building the foundations of inclusion requires forethought and consideration, deep inner reflection, honest conversations and commitments to create change. Contact Capacity Builders if you're interested in building skills:
- for communicating across cultures
- for learning how to create racial equity and interrupt oppression
- for assessing your EDI strengths and areas for improvement
- for shifting unconscious biases
Visit our site for new workshops on equity, diversity and inclusion for PSWs and Supervisors/Managers.