What Does a Director of Diversity and Inclusion Do?
The director of diversity and inclusion is responsible for ensuring that an organization's hiring and employee-related policies are fair, inclusive, and promote diversity. Their role requires them to work with all levels of personnel within an organization. Additionally, they can influence any decision-making related to the workforce and use this power to ensure an organization of mixed workers.
There is a good reason why more and more companies are looking to diversify their workforce. Customers come from all walks of life, and an organization's employees need to know where they come from. It's not enough to hire people of different ethnicities to show your company's support for diversity and prove that you are an inclusive manager.
The director of diversity and inclusion is becoming more common within companies across different industries and is a crucial role. Therefore, you should learn about the responsibilities associated with the position to see if it is something you can pursue.
This article will take you through the duties of a director of diversity and inclusion, its importance in today's world, and what an organization expects from them.
The Director of Diversity and Inclusion Role
The director of diversity and inclusion role is a significantly new position within companies and quickly becoming standard. Naturally, therefore, the role looks different for different organizations. Regardless, the need for such a position is an example of how modern human resources practices are shifting organizations' perspectives and helping them become better employers.
Understanding the role better requires clearly distinguishing between being inclusive and supporting diversity. Having employees from a variety of backgrounds is the goal of diversity. Race, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, age, or nationality are examples of diversity that help establish a rich company culture and a director of diversity and inclusion helps with that. The image below shows how important a diverse leadership can be for companies.
On the other hand, inclusion is about making everyone feel at ease. It's pointless to hire people from all walks of life when the company's policies don't accommodate people's diverse backgrounds. Similarly, a diverse workplace is challenging to ensure if the environment is hostile. A director of diversity and inclusion takes on the responsibility to ensure that the work environment encourages, practices, and safeguards diversity.
Mid-career employees are more likely to occupy a diversity and inclusion manager position than senior employees. Some organizations require this role to report to a chief diversity officer. However, others expect this position to perform the most critical functions in diversity and inclusion and, therefore, it reports directly to the HR director.
Since it is a relatively new role within the human resources field, you need to have all the relevant technical knowledge to train better and become a successful director of diversity and inclusion. If you are interested in pursuing such knowledge, check out our high-quality HR certifications at HR University.
Responsibilities of the Director of Diversity and Inclusion
The director of diversity and inclusivity position is an essential component of the human resources department and ensures that the organization progresses towards more diversity. Therefore, the role requires significant human resources expertise.
Some of the primary duties that are associated with the director of diversity and inclusion role are discussed below:
Ensure Better Employee Experience
The first and foremost goal of a director of diversity and inclusion is to improve the company's diversity. Therefore, it's essential to create fair growth opportunities and encourage a diverse workforce at all levels. Additionally, the director must establish that each job needs to be an equal employment opportunity.
Such a responsibility is crucial because an organization's diverse workers will depart for better prospects soon if the director of diversity and inclusion won't spend the time and money to ensure a more inclusive work environment.
Encourage Creating Employee Activities
The director of diversity and inclusion needs to make the organization consider initiating, funding, and promoting the formation of valuable intra-company diversity-based groups for everyone. Such groups act as inclusion initiatives that help employees practice more acceptance.
The inclusion manager can further help the director decide what diversity programs and initiatives fit the organization better. Examples of groups based on outside activities (knitting, sports) or traits (such as gender) are becoming more commonplace across industries (black employees organization, LGBT women in business, and more).
Ensure Inclusive Hiring Processes
Since the director of diversity and inclusion is an essential member of the HR team, they help develop more diverse talent acquisition pipelines and employee recruitment processes. After all, hiring the same kind of people keeps your organization stuck with limited diversity and makes inclusion challenging to ensure.
After receiving input from a leader who cares about diversity, the horizons of hiring processes expand to include more individuals from diverse backgrounds. Such processes hire individuals that appreciate the necessity of diversity in the workplace. The director can suggest using ethnically diverse employment boards for finding candidates from varying backgrounds.
Train Employees to Be Inclusive
The director of diversity and inclusion has to supervise the training and development initiatives within the organization. Their involvement ensures that these initiatives broaden the mindset of the organization's top executives and management teams through inclusion training.
Diverse and inclusive workplaces need various types of training to be successful. For example, if an organization is expanding into a new nation, it must consider the local customs. Its workforce needs to learn more about the local culture, practice mindfulness, and respect it constantly. It's unrealistic to expect similar inclusion training programs that work well in one continent to work perfectly on another. Therefore, it is essential to adequately understand and plan for diversity and inclusion efforts to succeed.
Analyze Effectiveness of Diversity and Inclusion Programs
Governmental reporting and investment returns are two examples of measuring and reporting diversity metrics. While diversity programs may get lauded for the good they do for society, businesses must understand how such initiatives are helping the organization grow.
The head of inclusion and diversity should investigate concrete facts, such as the economic effect of diversity initiatives. Then, they can analyze and visualize them to show the senior management team how diversity and inclusion initiatives have become integral for the organization. Such analysis helps with gaining support for introducing more of such programs.
A job's specific description varies considerably based on the firm. For example, many colleges and institutions have an executive diversity and inclusion post that attracts and retains students instead of recruiting and retaining staff. The methods may change when fostering diversity among students and employees, but the aim remains unchanged.
There are various ways to implement diversity initiatives and inclusion in the workplace. It's up to each organization to decide how to handle the challenge based on diversity metrics and local regulations. However, modern organizations are designated all the responsibilities of creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce to a dedicated position like the director of diversity and inclusion.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the emerging role of director of diversity and inclusion
How Is a Director of Diversity and Inclusion Relevant for the Human Resources Department?
The human resources department has a vast number of roles and responsibilities. One of such duties is to ensure that employees are content with the workplace and the organization follows all labor regulations.
Recently, all major governments have started encouraging organizations to ensure more diversity and inclusion through new laws. Therefore, it has become the HR's responsibility to achieve this aim within a company, and they do so by employing a director of diversity and inclusion. Such a role has to fulfill all duties discussed above to improve the workplace.
Is a Director of Diversity and Inclusion Necessary to Promote Diversity?
An organization creates a more diverse and inclusive workplace by making the necessary policies and ensuring their implementation. While pre-existing roles can handle this job and their other duties, hiring a dedicated director of diversity and inclusion simplifies the process. Such a role can focus entirely on creating more inclusive initiatives without compromising the quality of their other tasks.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a Director Of Diversity And Inclusion role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after Chief Human Resources Officer job.
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.