Creating an equitable workplace

    July 15, 2020

    Our world is changing rapidly. Diverse groups who have long been disadvantaged due to factors like race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, and sexual orientation are speaking out against organizational cultures that promote discrimination. So if you want to create an equitable workplace, how do you go about doing so?

    According to Harvard Business Review, the best way to create an equitable workplace is to break disparities in how diverse groups are treated by eliminating discrimination at the earliest possible opportunity. The following tips can help:

    • Define what criteria employees need to meet in order to advance, and determine if all employees have equal access. Once it’s clearly defined what employees have to achieve in terms of performance, identify potential obstacles and cultural attitudes that could be holding diverse talent back and work to remove them.
    • Empower your team members to take control of their careers. Not all employees know how to manage their careers to their best advantage. For example, a team member who comes from a family of professionals with a college education will likely know more about career progression than someone who’s the first in their family to go to college.
    • Leverage data to assess whether or not all employees are receiving equal opportunities. Pinpoint whether or not all employees are positioned to contribute equally. For example, do certain team members always get new accounts while others are instructed to support them? If there’s disparity, work consciously to distribute opportunities equally.
    • Work to retain and advance diverse talent. Oftentimes, people from different backgrounds may be moving up at different rates within the organization. Identify whether or not this is a trend, and evaluate what you can do to promote the retention and advancement of diverse talent. For example, you could leverage training and professional development, as well as institutionalize formal feedback.

    Creating an equitable workplace requires a conscious understanding of what your work environment is currently like and how it needs to change so it offers fair treatment for all employees. With these tips in mind, you can develop a strategy that objectively assesses where you are now and provides guidelines on how to move towards an unbiased professional environment.



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