In the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody and the protests that have followed, employers must make sure their mission and values for diversity and inclusion aren’t just words but are truly represented in their workforce.
After a summer of racial unrest, some companies have issued statements assuring they will increase the diversity of their workforce and address discrimination. And some employers have committed to hiring for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) positions. In all cases, a company’s workforce should reflect its stated mission, both in public and in the employee handbook. It’s just good business.
Diversity in the workplace includes race, gender and age. Employers need to review their recruiting policies and watch the words they use to describe years of experience and skill set to be certain they’re not shutting people out of the hiring process. Employees also must be given opportunities to advance. Multiple studies have found that companies whose employees represent a greater variety of perspectives perform better over time.
A commitment to diversity also attracts a wider pool of candidates. Potential employees are looking for employers who share their values. Candidates will check a company’s website and LinkedIn page to research its mission and core values. Company officials lead by example. If the company says it values experienced employees, it must ensure there are employees over 50 at the business and not just people in their 30s. If the company says it leads in diversity, it should not just have white men in top positions.
There is a lot of work to be done to increase diversity at companies. In the past, companies promoted senior people who often were in HR to DE&I positions, but it’s a role that needs an extraordinary leader with experience in change management and organizational development to create change. Job openings for DE&I positions, which dropped at the beginning of the pandemic, have been on the rise since June. These DE&I leaders will need support from the top levels of management to do their job.
Companies without diversity in their leadership face difficulties in transforming their workplace culture to embrace diversity. An environment that acknowledges issues of racial and social justice will enable a business and its workforce to prosper.
With America’s history of welcoming immigrants, you would think we would be past this challenge. I’m frankly disgusted that we’re not.
Radio show guest
Sharon Grimm, an executive at SendOutCards, will be our guest on “Connections Count,” at 1 p.m. Sept. 14 on Unity Radio 97.9 FM. Darlene Corbett and I host the radio show, which also can be found on Unity Radio’s website at https://www.wuty979fm.org/monday. If you’d like to be a guest on our show, email us at email@example.com.
50+ Job Seekers Networking schedule
The 50+ Job Seekers Networking workshops resume this month on Zoom. The meetings will run from 10 a.m. to noon. The dates and topics are:
- Sept.15: Self-Assessment, Career Pathways and Ageism
- Sept. 29: Turn Your Resume into a Marketing Tool
- Oct. 13: Create a Robust LinkedIn Profile
- Oct. 27: Use LinkedIn as Job Search Tool
- Nov. 10: Develop Your STARS/PARS
- Nov. 24: Network Your Way to a New Career
- Dec. 8: Create a Marketing Plan/Job Search Toolbox
- Dec. 15: Panel event: Practice Interviewing with Employers
The registration page for first-time participants is at https://mcoaonline.com/employment/50-plus-job-seeker-networking-groups/.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions about Human Resources topics at firstname.lastname@example.org