By Jordan Summers, Program Manager at Reaching Out MBA
Diversity Recruitment. Inclusion. Minorities.
In the business world, companies are putting more time, money, and effort into creating an inclusive workforce by way of diversity, or hiring from minority communities. It’s no longer just the responsibility of the human resources department. Job titles such as Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, and Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are becoming more popular. Diversity is trending.
There are companies who go about the business of hiring minorities for the wrong reasons. They may be looking for people to hire based on what diversity checkmark they can add to the company, paying little attention to other qualifications. The ones who are doing it right have a different attitude about it. They understand that by diversifying the work force they are providing space for different viewpoints, experiences, and opinions. This “diversity of thought” can make a team stronger, ideas more creative and robust, and business better.
Many articles and reports have been written about the correlation between businesses with gender and racial diversity and the overall annual performance of the business. Data analysis shows that diversity cannot be defined as an equation, where hiring candidates A, B, and C will increase business profits by X. It does show however that there is a general trend for businesses to perform positively overall when the workforce is comprised of people of different backgrounds, be that ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or other identities. Studies have shown that companies who engage in diversity initiatives, workshops, and trainings to promote a safe and inclusive work culture tend to have a higher level of employee satisfaction and thus employee retention. Additionally, by opening job opportunities to a more diverse and larger group of applicants, companies are more likely to capture those who are the most qualified.
So, the companies are looking for you (someone with a minority identity), but how do they find you? There may not be a place to indicate your background on your resume, but there are other things you can do. Register with or join a professional association for the community you identify with. Sure, this adds a little something to your resume, but by engaging with the organization you gain so much more. You open yourself to opportunities for networking, educational and professional development, socializing, and maybe even a job offer. When companies go through targeted recruiting for diversity initiatives, these are the types of organizations they want to collaborate with.
We are beginning to see more people of color and women in top executive positions. These are some of the results of diversity initiatives and the efforts of individual people from minority communities. We see this less so for those of different sexual orientations and gender expressions, but that is likely due to how much work still needs to be done to adapt legal policies in the workplace. Every time someone from a minority steps into one of these positions, they open the door for someone else to do the same. Hopefully this trend will continue and we will see new levels of diversity in the future.