The year 2020 changed the face of how businesses operate on a daily basis, not just because of the new work-from-home setups, but also because of the protests that occurred around the country and the world against institutionalized racism. More people than ever started to speak up about how to be more inclusive, what it means to be an ally, and what everyone can start to do to make our world and country a better place every day. Racism and discrimination were no longer pushed to the back burner.
As this happened, more businesses started to realize how they needed to change to include more diversity and inclusion in their everyday processes and discussions. Ignoring these issues was no longer an option.
That’s where diversity consulting comes in. Not everyone is familiar with how to create these difficult conversations, let alone lead them, so hiring a diversity consultant for your business can be a great way to stay up to date with our rapidly changing country and becoming a more inclusive business.
Keep reading to learn why your business should be participating in diversity consulting.
A Diversity Consultant Can Help Reduce Turnover
Without advocating for or creating a safe space for diversity and inclusion in your business, your business will suffer.
Many businesses that do not value diversity in the business see a large rate of turnover in their company. Many people want to see more diversity, and if they don’t, they will leave the company. With over 69% of executives believing that diversity is one of the most critical issues and conversations that need to be had, and if you are not one of them, you will not be as successful.
Even if there are some people in the company who want to see more diversity, there is often pushback from others that can affect the process of creating a more diverse staff culture.
By hiring a diversity consultant, they will be able to give you an outside opinion about where the gaps and shortcomings of your company are and how you can fix them. This is especially important if employees that are in entry-level positions do not feel heard by higher-up employees in the company.
The diversity consultant will create conversations that may not have occurred otherwise to fix these parts of the company and create a business that runs more successfully.
Diversity Is Not Just in the Numbers
Many companies believe that they can write off diversity by explaining diversity through numbers. We’re sure you’ve heard it before:
- “We have a diverse executive board because not every member is white”
- “A woman runs our company”
- “We have a lot of employees that are BAME”
- “We have an equal amount of men and women in the company”
Companies that make statements like the ones above are the ones that are most problematic. They are looking at surface-level “numerical” types of diversity and writing off the rest.
Just because a company has a Black CEO or a woman president doesn’t mean the rest of the company is diverse. Nor does it mean that the company is taking positive action to be more diverse and inclusive as a whole.
The most important way to look at diversity and inclusion as a company is to make sure you are meeting the needs and desires of all people − your customers, employees, and consumers. You have to have an open mindset and actually listen to the needs instead of assuming that just because there is a bit of numerical diversity in the company that your company is doing everything right.
Creating a diverse company goes much further than the numbers. A diversity consultant is able to hold sessions with the higher-ups or all of the team members to create conversations. This will begin to shift the mindset about what it means to be inclusive, which could make employees feel more comfortable speaking up about discrimination or policies that are not inclusive.
Once this begins to happen and a conversation occurs, the company will begin to take another look at its policies and processes to make sure they are inclusive for everyone. The company will then start to understand that diversity is much more than numbers.
Diversity Consulting Will Help an Organization Identify Different Forms of Discrimination
It can be easy to think that you may know what discrimination looks like. However, in reality, discrimination comes in many different forms and can be detrimental to people. In turn, this could be detrimental to your business.
Some forms of discrimination in the workplace that you may hear about:
- Sexual harassment
- Age discrimination
- Ability discrimination
- Sexual orientation discrimination
- Discrimination based on religion
Discrimination is not necessarily something that stands out and jumps out at you. It could be something as simple as statements like the following:
- “You look exotic, where are you from?”
- “You’re way too young to be here”
- “Wow, girl, you’re looking hot today”
- “How do you do your job in a wheelchair?”
- “I don’t see you as a person of color because I don’t see color”
- “Are you sure you are capable of doing that?”
Because of discrimination or microaggressions, people may experience a lack of motivation or productivity, more anxiety while at work, depression, and social isolation in the workplace. Since these types of discrimination can be detrimental to one’s mental health and wellbeing, the business will suffer if something is not done about it.
A diversity consultant is able to hold conversations about microaggressions and other forms of discrimination that employees may not even realize are discrimination. By doing this, your company will become a more inclusive business. The more educated your employees are about diversity and inclusion, the better off your business will be.
You Will Begin to Understand the Legal Impact of Discrimination and Racism
In addition to impacting employee’s wellbeing and mental health, discrimination can also have legal ramifications in a business.
If there are complaints about discrimination in the workplace or racism in the workplace, your company may have to go through court, experience reputational damage, legal costs, and damage to the success of your business. The company will also have to hire more people and retrain them to be up-to-date with the business processes.
This can all be avoided by hiring a diversity consultant. By learning what is wrong, employers are better able to handle complaints about discrimination and racism in the workplace. Without an understanding, some of these complaints could be brushed off, which will, in turn, lead to more legal actions.
Not only will diversity consulting improve how employers deal with different cases, it will also create a company that is more supportive of any claims made.
You Will More Likely Hit Your Financial Goals as a Company
Hiring a diversity consultant not only will make your company better socially but will drastically impact how your company runs and how successful it is. These are the “side effects” of having a more inclusive company.
With a more positive staff culture and inclusive environment, productivity skyrockets. Your employees will be happier coming to work, will complain less about trivial issues, and will get more done. There will also probably be more relationships that form within the company to keep employees socially happy throughout the day.
Because of this, the company is more likely to be successful and hit its financial goals for the year. Because happy workers are 13% more productive than unhappy workers, you will see a huge improvement in how your company runs after prioritizing conversations about diversity and inclusiveness.
Your Reputation Depends on Your Diversity
Many companies will hire diversity consultants to check off a box on their to-do list.
However, it is much more than that. As sad as it is, that may have been the reality 10 years ago, but nowadays, diversity training means much more than a checkmark on a piece of paper.
With how our country is changing, companies are not just viewed as “companies” anymore. It’s not just a place we get our clothes or we buy our toothbrushes. It’s no longer just a restaurant that we eat at when we crave it or a boutique that we stop in to see what cute home decor options they have that day.
We look further than that. We want to understand how a company operates, what opinions they have, and how they treat their employees.
Our new country culture tends to “cancel” anyone who is not doing something correctly, has made wrong comments in the past, or is not working to actively improve themselves as a company.
You are no longer just a company, but your reputation and brand will depend on how you discuss and confront issues with discrimination and racism in the workplace.
A diversity consultant can help you improve these sectors of your company to make sure that you are working as more than a company and are never “too busy” to navigate issues with diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Instead, you will start putting it at the forefront of all meetings and conversations.
Diversity Training Will Dismantle Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias is one of the most dangerous things in our society when it comes to discrimination. Before we explain why it is so bad, we have to define what it is.
An unconscious bias is a bias that you have learned based on how you grew up or over time and exists in your subconscious. You may not even notice that you have these biases, which is what makes it so dangerous and difficult to get rid of in individuals and companies as a whole.
A few examples of implicit bias that many of us have are:
- Women are way more emotional than men
- Companies move up younger people in the company instead of those aged over 45 because they may be more productive
- Feeling more comfortable around people who look like us
These are just a few examples of what implicit bias can look like. As you can see, these examples are ingrained into our brains from a young age and we may not even realize that we are trained to think in this way.
By hiring a diversity consultant, we can start to understand the types of implicit bias that we carry with us every day. Although this can be a hard realization, it is the only way to start dismantling our implicit bias and start to rebuild new understandings about people who look different than us.
Once you realize the types of bias you carry, it is easier to have conversations about how they may affect your everyday activities or views about someone or something. Continuing to hold these conversations and space to discuss these will improve company culture. And from there, there will be less implicit bias in the world as it becomes dismantled through company discussions.
Time to Hire a Diversity Consultant
Your company is much more than just a business.
You have to value your employees, value the social opinions of the time, and be more inclusive on an everyday basis.
This can be difficult to achieve on your own, so that’s where hiring a diversity consultant comes in. Diversity consulting will help your business’ culture, reputation, and success in no time.
We offer a variety of consulting techniques and have worked with companies like Deloitte and KPMG. And now we’re ready to make a difference at your company!