What is DEI
Who doesn’t love tech companies? They steal all eyes and headlines when talking about the new “future of work”. Even though they’re very forward-thinking, they can still fall behind when it comes to Diversity Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
What is DEI? Why is it important?
WHAT ARE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION (DEI)?
DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is the presence of differences within a given setting. Equity is the process of ensuring that processes and programs are impartial, fair, and provide equal possible outcomes for every individual. Inclusion is the practice of ensuring that people feel a sense of belonging in the workplace.
If you’re like me, you’re thinking, what does that really mean? Why is DEI important? And why do companies need this?
Diversity: The presence of differences within a given setting. In the workplace, that can mean differences in race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic class.
There’s a moral reason to believe in diversity, and that should be obvious in this day and age, but there is also a practical business benefit. At the heart of any business, we’re fighting off competition and constantly trying to innovate. Innovation requires ideas. Ideas require creativity. Creativity requires inspiration. And where does inspiration come from?
It comes from people!
People with different; experiences, backgrounds, sexuality, age, experience level, educational levels, etc.
If we duplicated 10 versions of you and put you in a room vs 10 people from all walks of life, which team would come out with more creative and innovative ideas? Hopefully, the answer is obvious.
If tech companies want to stay ahead of the curve, they certainly need a diverse workforce.
What is Equity & Why is it important?
- Equity: The act of ensuring that processes and programs are impartial, fair, and provide equal possible outcomes for every individual.
We now know that the key to successful innovation is Diversity. But a diverse team without equity or inclusion could be harmful. Let me explain what I mean by this.
If you hired a diverse enthusiastic and motivated team, but they found their discrimination complaints being dismissed, you would have the perfect recipe for a demotivated workforce.
That’s where equity in the workplace comes in.
It acknowledges that each individual comes from a different background and needs different levels of support, so they can reach the same level of success as their colleagues.
It’s not uncommon to confuse equity with equality.
They sound deceivingly similar, but couldn’t be any further apart.
Equality means giving your team access to the same level of resources, whilst equity means giving each team member access to different levels of support, so it’s equally possible for them to achieve the same outcome.
What is Inclusion & Why is it important?
Inclusion: The practice of ensuring that people feel a sense of belonging in the workplace. This means that every employee feels comfortable and supported by the organization when it comes to being their authentic selves.
DEFINITION: Here in quotes below:
With 38 million resignations in 2021, the great resignation has rebirthed inclusion as a growing
priority across companies.
Vernā Myers, VP of Diversity and Inclusion at Netflix defined “diversity as being invited to a party, inclusion is being asked to dance”.
When your colleagues feel included, they feel a sense of belonging that creates a collaborative, engaged, and motivated team.
Why DEI should be at the core of your business
We’ve all experienced that feeling where we wake up on a Sunday and immediately sigh/worry/dread overwork the next day. You might have even heard of the term “Sunday scaries”. When you have a supportive company culture that truly supports each individual these worries will melt away.
Sometimes Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) is dismissed as a company buzzword. For many successful companies, they become a way of life, integrated into their core values.
We know that it’s very influential in reducing churn, motivating and creating a pleasant working environment
How To Include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion In jobs?
From culture to hiring to communication, diversity and inclusion affect almost every aspect of the workplace. The first step to understanding how to include DEI across your organization is to understand where you may need to improve the most.
KPIs can be set to improve representation overall, by job level, or by role. Recruitment KPIs can be assigned to your talent acquisition team and hiring managers, and they can roll up to representation KPIs. Establish sourcing goals or quotas to hire more people from underrepresented groups. It can be an easy default to hiring more people that look like the current makeup of your team, but that would be a mistake.
However, DEI goes beyond hiring quotas. It also includes training modules, mentorship programs, and new regulations in the workplace. Employers who are fair and create varied and inclusive environments where team members may express themselves freely show respect for everyone’s particular needs, and allow them to achieve their full potential.
Organizations have the responsibility to create flexible work environments, recruit diverse teams, teach employees to recognize and prevent internal discrimination and provide equal employment opportunities to all employees. It’s not just the right thing to do, it will help your bottom line.