Diversity And Inclusion For The Right Reasons

A lot of businesses who engage in Diversity and Inclusion practices are doing so for simple recognition. Just like the efforts of going big during Pride season and then disappearing, it is often shallow and skin deep.

By  focusing on HR and the hiring team to get people through the door that fit into a pre-determined metric that some other organisation has deemed “right” or “good” is in our view entirely the wrong approach. Were you  to ask that business what all these plans are designed to achieve , they would say “diversity and inclusion.”as if that is the ultimate goal  and so the cycle continues. 

Do box ticking exercises inspire respect from the staff, does being hired in part to satisfy a quota inspire trust? No. At best they cheapen people’s value and even diminish the positive effect they might have had if hired on pure merit.   

The unique values that a company is looking for from its hires are more known to the company than any outside organisation and the metrices they are promoting. The result of this is that if a company hires the wrong person at the wrong time out of the need to meet “compliance”, not only does the opportunity gap grow but it creates an environment where core management are at a total disconnect from the new hires. When there are no clearly defined next steps to truly make these staff feel valued , welcome or respected.

The reason we are so fixated on “diversity” is that it is easier to enact than creating an environment of pure acceptance. Ask most people what a good business environment would look like and it would be somewhere that people are accepted and valued for what they can do and where their diversity of thought is rewarded and incentivised. It would be a place where people don’t care what boxes their staff tick from the CEO down to the interns so long as they are providing value and are great team players. 

So why isn’t this the focus?

Because it’s very difficult. Humans are creatures that naturally create tribes and hierarchies, often based off the superficial and the trite. To organically create an environment that goes beyond the superficial will takes time and real effort. D&I at its purest hopes to shatter these superficial boundaries by changing the status quo, the issue arises when much of the results we see are equally superficial without getting to the root of the problem. Nothing can point to this more than the point of diversity and inclusion just being more diversity and inclusion with no real end in sight. 

We at Pride 365 are taking a long and realistic view. We focus on the end goal and work towards it day in, day out. We see a society where D&I is a thing of the past because we don’t need to be told how to be inclusive or who to hire. For that we encourage honesty, transparency and respect. To this end businesses must look to make incremental improvements with regards to true inclusivity every single day whilst simultaneously understanding they will never achieve 100% compliance (how can we when we are dealing with human beings) but nevertheless they can with the right ambition and spirit of intent create an atmosphere and environment within which everyone is valued and respected and given equal opportunity to flourish.

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