Diversity and inclusion are about creating workplaces where everyone feels valued, respected, and included. D&I is about ensuring that everyone benefits from the same opportunities and experiences.
There is no doubt that D&I is essential. However, it has become a buzzword that has been used too often without understanding its meaning. This blog post will discuss 19 different topics related to D&I. These are not all-inclusive, but they cover some of the most common issues we have seen in organizations, such as sexual harassment and unconscious bias.
Diversity and Inclusion Topics 2022
Here is a list of diversity and inclusion discussion topics that you can look through to enhance your knowledge:
1. Generational Diversity
Generational diversity is the difference between people who came up during the Civil Rights era and those who did not experience this period. For example, managers may have different perspectives on race relations, employees equity, or gender equality in organizations. It can lead to problems when creating an environment where everyone can feel welcome.
2. Gender Diversity
Gender diversity is about ensuring that both genders are represented equally across all aspects of the workplace. It includes both biological sex as well as inclusive workplace ideas. You must consider transgenders who progress for equal representation.
3. Sexual Orientation Diversity
Sexual orientation diversity refers to people from many different sexual orientations, including heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, etc. The goal here is to encourage that employees' sexuality in a workplace is treated fairly and in the most effective ways without any stereotypes or harassment.
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4. Intentional Inclusion and Inclusion Training
Intentional inclusion means that you want to include people who do not fit into your traditional definition of what it means to become a part of your workplace. For example, if you are a company focused on hiring just white males, you might have trouble attracting diverse candidates as co-workers.
However, you should develop a workplace culture that has a deeper level of support for inclusive leaders, managers, and other people. Organizations can achieve it through open communication in the organization. Keep in mind that inclusion training is a key to the success of any business.
Micro-aggressions are everyday slights, snubs, or insults directed at someone based on their marginalized group membership such as race, ethnicity, community, religion, age, disability status, etc. They are practices focused on subtle things like being told, "you don't look like one of us" or "You speak with such authority." In general, they focus on conversations that have baseless arguments.
6. Cultural Competence and Diversity Initiatives
Cultural competence is about learning about other cultures so that you can better understand them and appreciate their perspectives. It is about leaders becoming aware of how their own workplace culture influences how leaders interact with people from other organizations.
To create a sense of cultural competence, organizations need to offer support and training to their leaders to encourage equality and discourage sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, or any other type of employee misconduct. Organizations should also divulge resources to aid in the representation of different cultural groups that span generations and focus on training leaders.
7. Culture Fit: Having a Diverse Workforce
Culture fit is about finding out whether or not an individual fits in with the organizational culture. It is about whether or not they share the organization's values and whether or not they can contribute to the team's success.
Leaders should set aside resources for teaching employees how to lead a culturally-fit mentality in an organization, regardless of their communities. They must take precedence in older generations. However, companies should put proper training and abundant resources to discourage harassment of those who decide to take part.
8. Racial Equity and Diversity Training
Racial equity is about fairness and justice for racial minorities. It is about discussing racism and unconscious bias head-on within an inclusive workplace. While the conversation should not be based on lived experiences, you should research how to create proper training for diverse groups based on the latest research.
Just as same, you must carry out the training on the importance of racial equity. Keep in mind that equity and diversity training are core elements in making racial equity a success. Companies should also train their workers to cope with workplace harassment.
9. Age Diversity
Age diversity is about ensuring that older workers are included in decision-making processes and that younger employees are given opportunities to learn from them. While there is no diversity training, in this case, it's important to remember those other areas that require training within an organization.
10. Disability Diversity
Disability diversity is about ensuring that people with disabilities are included in all aspects of life. It is about providing access to buildings, programs, and activities so that people with disabilities can participate in their full swing. It is also an integral part of diversity training.
11. Religion Diversity
Unlike other forms of diversity training, religion is all about having a choice. Religion diversity is about understanding the beliefs and practices of various religions. It is about respecting religious freedom, making inclusion efforts, and creating an inclusive workplace where people of all backgrounds can practice their faith.
12. Ethnic Diversity
Ethnic diversity is about recognizing the cultural contributions of ethnic groups within society. It is about appreciating the unique ways people from different countries express themselves through art, music, food, clothing, language, etc.
13. LGBTQ + Inclusion
LGBTQ + Inclusion is about treating everyone equal regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, gender presentation, and more.
14. A Focus on the Multigenerational Workforce
You need diverse talent for the success of your business. This section will talk about how companies need to address working with the multigenerational workforce. As we'll see, the multigenerational workforce presents many challenges and provides some exciting opportunities.
15. The Challenges of Working With Millennials
Millennials have grown up in a world where technology has become ubiquitous. They're used to getting information and expect immediate responses. They want to become involved in decisions and feel valued when they do something well. Moreover, millennials don't like being told what to do.
It doesn't mean that millennials aren't willing to work hard. Rather, they want to understand the purpose behind current events. If they don't understand the reason, they may look elsewhere for employment.
The good news is that millennials will make great employees because they bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the workplace. They're creative thinkers and problem solvers. They enjoy learning new things and are eager to share their knowledge.
However, they also have a short attention span, and they often get bored. Your employee won't perform as well if you give too much direction or tell them what to do.
If you're looking for someone who will follow orders without question, then millennials are not suitable for your team. But if you're looking for someone with high energy and creativity, then millennials are perfect for your organization.
16. Unconscious Bias in the Workplace
Unconscious bias can have adverse impact on the performance of any group of individuals. It occurs when people hold certain beliefs about other groups without even realizing it.
For example, you believe that all females are emotional and weak. You wouldn't realize that belief unless you were asked to evaluate a woman for a job.
When you evaluate her based on those beliefs, she might fail to meet your expectations. She may seem less competent than another candidate.
You may assume that she's not qualified for the position because she lacks experience. Or maybe you think that she isn't cut out for leadership roles because she seems too soft.
These assumptions are unconscious biases that affect everyone. The main difference between men and women is that women hold to higher standards than men. So if you're evaluating candidates for a job, try to avoid making judgments based on gender stereotypes.
It's important to note that these stereotypes exist regardless of whether you're aware of them. For instance, studies show that more men are hired for for manual labor jobs while more women are hired for analytical skill based positions.
So if you're hiring for a job that requires physical strength, you'd better hire a man. On the other side, if you're hiring for an analyst role, you'd better select a woman.
Apart from that, many other types of bias can influence how people judge others.
There are racial biases, age biases, religious biases, sexual orientation biases, and so on. All of these factors contribute to the way we perceive others.
Unfortunately, these biases are difficult to eliminate because they're embedded deep within our brains. So it's essential to recognize them and take steps to minimize their effects. Organizations need to stop inappropriate behavior against different groups or particular gender.
17. Supporting Gender Identity and Expression
Gender identity refers to one's internal sense of being male or female. A person's gender expression is how they present/themselves to the world.
Some people express themselves through clothing, hairstyles, makeup, or body modifications. Others prefer to present themselves differently.
Regardless of which option they choose, every individual has the right to express their gender.
It includes choosing to present as transgender or nonbinary. Transgender and nonbinary individuals often face discrimination in society. They also struggle with issues such as depression and anxiety.
Raising awareness is not enough. Organizations and legal authorities need to take strict action against the violation of the right of transgender and nonbinary.
18. Shifting From Diversity and Inclusion to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The term diversity encompasses all differences among groups. It includes race, ethnicity, religion, culture, ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Equity is about fairness. It contains equal treatment under the law, access to education and employment opportunities, and fair wages.
And last but not least, inclusion is about recognizing and celebrating differences. As part of your D&I efforts, consider using inclusive language when referring to any group.
For example, instead of saying "women" or "men," say "people who identify as women" or "people who identify as men."
Also, remember that everyone deserves respect. That means treating everyone equally and avoiding stereotyping. It is necessary to achieve a healthy balance among diverse backgrounds within a company.
If someone identifies as a member of a particular group, don't assume that s/he shares the same beliefs or values as members of another group.
Instead, ask questions to learn more about why this person feels like s/he does.
19. Implicit Bias
In the last, be aware of implicit bias. Implicit bias is unconscious prejudice against people based on characteristics that aren't visible.
It's easy to unintentionally discriminate against people based on appearance, sex, and gender. It's a collective responsibility of everyone to try their best to avoid discriminating against people.
Above you can find 19 different discussion topics on diversity and inclusion. All these factors somehow points in the direction that everyone, men, women, and transgenders must be treated equally regardless of their genders, race, ethnicity, culture, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and appearance. Note that, only those organizations that ensure a diverse and inclusive workspace wins the competition and race.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a Diversity and Inclusion role, we recommend taking our Diversity and Inclusion Certification Course, where you will learn how to build your skillset in D&I, build a diverse network, craft a great D&I resume, and create a successful diversity and inclusion job search strategy.
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He’s a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.