According to a study from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), a whopping 59% of senior decision makers in UK businesses still believe a woman should have to disclose whether or not she is pregnant during the interview process. To top it off, a further 44% stated their belief that women should work in an organisation for at least a year before deciding to have children. While diversity may be high on the agenda of most employers today, these shocking statistics serve to prove that unconscious bias is still rife within workplaces across the Western world.
Until we are able to overcome it, women will continue to face some degree of discrimination, sexist attitudes and micro-aggressions throughout their careers. It isn’t enough to simply name diversity as a top priority and hire staff to fill a quota. The change must come from within; it must grow from the recognition that a diverse workplace is not only a more productive and efficient one, it is one which is primed for innovation and new ideas.
Pushing for a more diverse workforce through the neutralisation of job applications is a good start; however, making sure your new hires feel valued and respected is not a one-and-done process. Nurturing a diverse workforce can be aided by the implementation of engaging training solutions that help to build and raise awareness of unconscious bias. By deploying interactive learning experiences that get staff talking about this critical issue, business leaders can begin to change the culture and social environment of their organisations, paving the way for diversity and equality in the workplace.
A diverse workplace isn’t a feel-good gold star to put on a company’s resume. It’s a crucial building block for success. Discrimination costs businesses in many ways, including financially. Last year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that companies paid approximately $484 million to victims of workplace discrimination. Beyond impacting their bottom line, companies miss out on critical opportunities to reach their customers and grow their top line. Dorsey noted that diversity is a reflection of who we serve, and to serve a diverse world, we must reflect that diversity in our companies.