By Jo Phillips

How You Can Promote Diversity In Your Business Today. As a business owner, there is a justifiable fear that you’ll run into issues related to diversity and discrimination somewhere within your business. This could be an employee who believes they have been passed up on promotion due to their race, gender, or sexuality; a disagreement between employees centred around misunderstandings of these differences; or simply workplace bullying, which could be due to differences too. It is your responsibility to ensure that your employees are provided with the tools and knowledge necessary to avoid these problems and to voice their concerns. Promoting diversity is incredibly important today, and we’ve listed a few tips that can help you do so within your company.

Provide Implicit Bias Training
Many of us believe that we have no bias and that we base our judgements on the actions and words of others rather than how we see them or where they come from. However, our judgements of others are well documented to be ingrained in our upbringing and life experiences, and these biases can be unconscious and hard to break free from. This is where implicit bias training comes in. This helps to raise awareness for yourself and the rest of your team, providing you with the tools to create a safe work environment and change these negative behaviours.

Offer Mentors To Employees
Underrepresented employees can feel as though their needs and opinions are less valid than others that may have more representation in society and the workplace. To provide these employees with more confidence in speaking out and participating in certain things within your business, offering experienced mentors might be worthwhile. These mentors will be individuals who are experienced and have a high level of confidence and understanding of how to be seen and heard. They can provide support and individual growth to underrepresented individuals within your team.

Sponsor Your HR Specialists For Further Education
Your human resources department is duty-bound to keep a keen eye on your team and identify their concerns and worries. They will help you sort out issues relating to your employees and other things, but further training for these experts can be very beneficial. For example, you could sponsor these employees to study topics such as Women Leading Change, which is related to the role of female leaders, through online courses offered by a renowned institution. It may also help to study this yourself as a business owner. It will help in understanding the disparity that can come from differences in gender and provide you with the tools necessary to lead change within your industry that can provide better opportunities for women to take on leadership roles.

Don’t Dismiss Differences
It’s often thought that ignoring differences is the respectable stance to take when it comes to diversity, implying that everyone is the same. However, this can be problematic in itself. This stance actually dismisses the real difficulties that others may have experienced in their lives due to those exact differences. It also dismisses the beauty of cultural and religious differences. Instead of dismissing differences, they should instead be championed and celebrated where appropriate. Talking about topics such as race in the workplace is okay but must be done respectfully. Don’t forget that our differences can provide value to a business, too, offering new perspectives on projects and goals, so pursuing and promoting diversity is positive for society and can also benefit your business greatly.

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