13 Diversity and Inclusion Discussion Topics

Updated on December 22nd, 2021
13 Diversity and Inclusion Discussion Topics

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 13 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.

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. People who progress as transgender should also be considered 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 respectfully in the most effective ways without any stereotypes or harassment.

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 be part of your workplace. For example, if you are a company focused on hiring only 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 only through open communication in the organization. Keep in mind that inclusion training is a key to the success of any business.

5. Microagressions

Microagressions 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." Generally, 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. It should be able to 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.

Equally the same, training should be carried out 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 fully. 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 freely.

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 equally 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 instantly and expect immediate responses. They want to be involved in decisions and feel valued when they do something well. But most importantly, 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 quickly. 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 might not be suitable for your team. But if you're looking for someone with high energy and creativity, then millennials could be perfect for your organization.

16. Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

Unconscious bias can negatively impact 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 necessarily realize that belief unless you were asked to evaluate a woman for a job.

When you evaluate her based on those beliefs, she probably fails 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 only difference between men and women is that women tend to be held 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 men are more likely to be hired for manual labor jobs while women are more likely to be selected for analytical skills positions.

So if you're hiring for a job that requires physical strength, you'd better hire a man. Similarly, 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 finally, 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

Finally, 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.