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Diversity and Inclusion – A Matter of the Heart

Posted by: Nika White on Monday, September 9, 2013
In addition to Steve Jobs’ brilliantly developed technologies, he also gifted the world with the answer to what it means to infuse your passion into your work and let that lead you to greatness. Jobs is credited with  saying, "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be totally satisfied is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it." I have Job’s quote on my office wall and it reminds me of why I do what I do what I do. Diversity and inclusion for me is a matter of the heart. I love the work I do and am passionate about helping others to benefit from the tremendous value that inclusion can bring to an organization. One of many favorite aspects of my job is receiving invitations for speaking engagements to deliver diversity training, facilitate an inclusion workshop or moderate a panel discussion on diversity and inclusion. I’ve recently received a flurry of invites and decided I would dedicate this blog to sharing some of the content I will deliver at the Greenville Society for Human Resource Management (GSHRM) Diversity Conference on Tuesday, September 10, 2013. GSHRM’s requested I facilitate a workshop on implementing a diversity and inclusion initiative that leads organizations to effective best practices to begin and/or improve in this space. Following my dialogue, I will moderate a panel discussion with HR and other diversity professionals who will address insight on how a diversity and inclusion initiative has impacted their organization’s culture. This panel will cover minority recruitment and retention, supplier diversity, diverse community impact, and more. There’s so much that can be covered in a diversity workshop session, but I will spend my time narrowing the focus to the fundamental best practices to consider as a jumping off point. Here’s a sneak peek into some of those top best practices.
  1. Recognize that diversity is more than a moral challenge. It’s a bottom line business imperative. Always align the reason for diversity and inclusion to a business case and be less concerned with trying to awaken people’s social consciousness regarding diversity.
  2. Address organizational culture to ensure conditions are right for inclusion. Full integration is essential or else, diversity and inclusion will become a program rather than a part of the fabric of the organization.
  3. Before implementing a diversity and inclusion plan, ensure a commitment from top leadership and identify champions.
  4. Conduct an honest assessment as a starting point to be able to track progress. Don’t be afraid of your beginning results. The work of diversity and inclusion is a journey and not a destination. Don’t compare another organizations’ middle to your organization’s beginning.
  5. Make diversity a part of the strategic plan and align goals and objectives with organizational mission.
  6. Determine metrics to gauge performance for achievement of diversity and inclusion goals. Without metrics, nothing gets tracked and initiatives that aren’t tracked tend to not be effective and lack sustainability.
  7. Communicate often on diversity, but be thoughtful to ensure authenticity. Be sure to demonstrate your commitment through actionable items and results.
  8. Make sure recruitment and retention is everyone’s responsibility. Encourage thinking more strategically and broadly regarding building a diverse applicant pool.
  9. Utilize diversity experts and consultants to assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive diversity plan. Many practitioners in this space are willing to lend their time and skills to helping other organizations operate effectively as an inclusive organization.
  10. Commit appropriate resources; dedicate both human and financial capital to this work. This is often viewed as an indicator of an organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Learn more about CAPACITY, Greenville Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Follow CAPACITY on Twitter Like CAPACITY on Facebook Check out the CAPACITY YouTube Channel

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