How Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Benefit Your Business

by Freya Scammells

The True Value of DEI


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16 SEPTEMBER, 2021

Why is everyone in Tech and Recruitment talking about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in hiring recently?

It's no secret that the technology industry faces a wealth of challenges with DEI as many others do.
Tech professionals drive value by creating solutions to complex problems but too many tech organizations are struggling to create solutions to discrimination, bias, and underrepresentation.

Until recently though, mostly White and Asian men were catered for at the highest levels in the biggest Tech company in the world.
That seems to still be
very reflective across the Tech field as a whole. 

With artificial intelligence there is a very strong dependence on the input operator and any biases they may have factored in, unconsciously or consciously. These biases will need to be omitted for any true value to be seen with this incredible technology. DEI isn’t just about your workers, it really is an all encompassing approach that covers everyone.

Are businesses really looking in the right places?

Are they using recruiters with experience who actually understand what this topic is all about and how it can have a very real and beneficial effect on a company?

Culture-fit
In recent years many companies have focused on what culture will fit a product or service or organisation as a whole. The problem with this approach has been that cultures really do tend to stick together, like football teams. Culture fit will only give you more of what you already have (what you expect, will be reinforced). It will prevent you from anticipating the needs of our ever-changing diverse world.

Culture-add
On the other hand, this will give you, as an organisation, the ability to embrace what you do not already know, putting you in the best position to anticipate the market ahead. ‘Ethnically and culturally diverse companies are
36% more likely to perform better than homogenous organizations’ Jenn Fulmer -  itbusinessedge.com

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in your Organisation
‘According to
this study, 78% of respondents said that DEI initiatives are very important when considering a job offer’ Bihu Ray - toolbox.com

But let's take a step back.

What is Diversity

Diversity for an organisation means, for example, no echo chambers.Employees that represent as broad a range of society as possible.
Some additional examples in an organisation would be: No political biases, no gender biases and no biases based on physical ability.
No job favours one group over the other.

What is Equity

Equity means access to the resources and processes that enable ALL to stand a fair chance of success in an organisation.
It's the practice of implementing inclusion in an organisation. Equity in an organisation means fair potential and practices for every employee regardless of race, gender or physical ability. Some examples in an organisation would be: Correct working environments for the physically disabled, Gender-neutral bathrooms and Products and Services made by the company with no biases at all.

What is Inclusion

A workplace that brings ALL people together.
Some examples in an organisation would be: a workforce that includes gender neutral non binary employees, people of different races, people with different accents, people of different ages, people who use wheelchairs and people who have speech impediments.

Can you imagine the positive effect an organisation could have by including the input of a person from a minority, not just on you, but on them and their family?It is groundbreaking too.

When incorporated into a business, DEI actually increases creativity and innovation (through communication of ideas, from different backgrounds and walks of life), it increases job satisfaction (through inclusivity and a sense of belonging, nobody is ignored) and thus the probable positive mental health of employees. ‘Nearly 80% of those surveyed said they want to work for a company that values diversity, equity, and inclusion issues’ .Susan Caminiti

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5 top keys to successful implementation of DEI processes

Bring people in who are ‘eccentric’, don’t settle for what you already ‘know’. Hire people who will challenge biases in your organisation, to increase creativity and innovation.

Have regular feedback sessions on how the organisation as a whole is being included in the thought processes behind products and services. Do ALL your employees, on any level, feel included?

Pay attention to any ‘banter’ in the workplace. Is it discriminating against any group in your workplace? If so, make sure that is stopped and corrected.

Make sure your HR department actually functions the way it should for every employee group in your organisation.

Make sure all staff inside your organisation have access to education regarding the importance of inclusion in the workplace.

An organisation that really values its employees’ and customer’s time needs a recruiter that truly values and can cater for fair and inclusive hiring.

With our 96.6% retention figure, industry-leading, we know we can deliver the very best, most diverse and varied candidates for you to enhance the success and further the wellbeing of your business. First time.

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About the Author

Freya supports the tech talent toolbox arm of Reflection X where she is coaching technologists to achieve their full potential. With over 10 years of experience within the Tech and AI recruitment space, she has been from working closely with thousands individuals and leaders during hiring processes while partnering with very early stage start-ups all the way to some of the top AI Labs in the world.