Understanding Diversity and Inclusion
The Tech Sector in B.C. is made up of innovative companies who are shifting our world in many ways. Yet, as a sector, we aren’t matching those strides with our D&I progression. To make a change, we need to understand D&I, what we’re missing, and then critically evaluate our own organizations.
Bersin by Deloitte defines “diversity and inclusion” as the variety of diverse people and ideas within a company, and the creation of an environment in which people feel involved, respected, valued, connected, and able to bring their “authentic” selves (e.g. their ideas, backgrounds, values, and perspectives) to the team and to the business.
Inclusion requires removal of barriers, whether attitudinal, structural, or societal, to allow the full and equal participation of all individuals In an organization, removing barriers could require adjustments to our policies, environments, and organizational cultures, as well as fostering open communication with employees.
A strong D&I policy is intentional and interwoven into all aspects of a company’s operations.
Diversity and inclusion leads to better business outcomes, increased revenues, and attracts great talent. D&I is also shown to improve employee job satisfaction and company culture. Improving our D&I practices will help us to better serve our customers, as well as improve our products.
What is our starting point?
The following statistics come from HR Tech Group’s Diversity and inclusion in the Tech Sector Report (2018). While they suggest the tech sector is willing to take action, it has a long way to go.
So what’s next?
Within organizations, diversity and inclusion usually starts with human resources and eventually, becomes embedded into the operations and culture of the organization through its leadership, management, supplier diversity, and more.
We’re being called to take on a critical reflective process of examining who our organizations are leaving out, what barriers we have built into our organizations, and how we can do better.
Are you ready?