Inclusion and Diversity. These two terms have gained significance in Canada’s employer landscape. While they each have their own distinct meaning, one can’t exist without the other. After all, a company must be inclusive in order to attract and retain a diverse workforce.
Indeed recently conducted a survey that looked at inclusion and diversity in the Canadian technology industry. Our findings show that some companies still have a long way to go. Even those who have embraced inclusion and diversity should recognize that there is always room for improvement.
Indeed’s survey found that 32% of respondents feel they have been personally discriminated against at their current company due to their race, gender, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
The survey also revealed that women are more likely to feel discriminated against in the male-dominated tech industry, with 37% of female tech workers stating they have been personally discriminated against, compared to 28% of male tech workers.
Overall, 46% of respondents have witnessed non-inclusive behaviour that has made them feel uncomfortable at their current company
Diversity is integral to a company’s prosperity. According to a recent Forbes Insights survey, 56% of companies with more than $10 billion in annual revenues agree that diversity helps drive innovation.
Employees acknowledge these benefits, with 89% of tech workers saying a diverse workforce positively impacts business performance. Moreover, eight in 10 respondents believe a diverse workforce is important in helping a company gain new business and build its brand.
However, when we asked respondents what meaningful action their company is taking to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, 54% did not know, and 26% did not believe their company was taking any meaningful action at all.
So, the question is: How can companies help foster an inclusive environment where a diverse workforce can thrive?
Tips to achieve an inclusive and diverse workplace
1. Hire a dedicated leader
Many companies have employed professionals who specialize in inclusion and diversity initiatives. Other organizations take a grassroots approach, leveraging their employees who are passionate about the cause to volunteer their time to support inclusion and diversity.
When taking this approach, companies should provide support and encourage their employees to form employee resource groups, host events and promote various causes.
At Indeed, employees can join such groups as “Women at Indeed” or “iPride,” which are employee-led, with full support from the company. Employees are encouraged to join a group they’re passionate about or spearhead new ones.
2. Provide Training
Train hiring managers and recruiters to commit to a diverse slate of candidates for every position. Moreover, training personnel is also essential to help combat unconscious biases.
As part of training, it’s critical to look at how these unconscious biases might be present during different stages of the hiring process. For example, ensuring your job descriptions are gender neutral so they don’t imply a certain gender by referring to candidates as either “he” or “she.”
3. Create a candidate pipeline
Create a candidate pipeline by partnering with associations and schools, and investing in your future pool of talent.
Many tech companies face the challenge of attracting women to their roles. As such, companies are starting to support and sponsor various groups to encourage more women to enter the tech field.
The efforts are twofold: they encourage women to consider careers in tech, and they help build a relationship with these group members, who could eventually be primed for a career at your company.
4. Showcase diversity through storytelling
A goal to aim for is that inclusion and diversity will eventually be ingrained in your company’s employer brand. Consider creating video content that features staff members telling their own stories – what does diversity mean to them? How does your company help them thrive?
Content is a powerful vehicle and can help build your reputation. These videos can be hosted on your website, social media channels and third-party sites such as Indeed Company Pages.
These are just a few efforts towards cultivating an environment where all people can flourish, and when your workforce succeeds, so too does your company.