12 Jun Diversity In Corporate Culture Starts With Inclusion
Diversity without inclusion is often bad news for everyone. The ability to reach arbitrary employment percentage quotas is not the same as building an inclusive workforce, especially when there’s no change to the underlying culture of exclusion and mistrust. A high churn rate due to a disempowered workforce can be expensive and damage a brand’s reputation, particularly when newly hired diverse workers are prevented from making productive contributions.
What comes after the hire can make all the difference in the world. Employees from diverse backgrounds often find a culture of roadblocks and resentment after the initial excitement of onboarding wears off.
I’ve seen this firsthand in my company’s work as an investment studio and innovation lab. An inclusive approach to diversity has been integral to our business model, both internally and in terms of whom we’ve chosen to support.
The technology sector, where my company operates, is often cited as one of the worst offenders when it comes to diversity and inclusion. A study published by the Kapor Center for Social Impact turned a spotlight on the tech sector and found that:
• Women either personally endured or saw “significantly more unfairness than men.”
• “Nearly one quarter of underrepresented men and women of color experienced stereotyping, twice the rate of white and Asian men and women.”
• Those in the LGBT community were most likely to experience bullying and public humiliation.
Attitudes and practices related to diversity and inclusion vary a great deal between companies and sectors, but we may not really know the extent of the problem because sharing data on diversity doesn’t appear to be a priority for many large companies. Four hundred of the companies on the 2017 Fortune 500 list didn’t share data about the gender or ethnicity of their employees.