Question 1. How Important Is Diversity To You, And What Value Does It Bring Your Organisation?
Every business should be able to articulate how they promote Diversity and Inclusion, what initiatives they have and how they’re measuring the successes. Ask how it’s contributed to their bottom line. Please do remember smaller companies are still building Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and no doubt testing what works for them. Respecting their transparency is key as perhaps some of their initiatives haven’t worked yet.
Question 2. What Are Your Most Important Values?
To get a glimpse into their culture, as well as allowing the candidate to see if their values match the company. If diversity is high up on the agenda, this should be part of the answer. You’ll get a feel pretty quickly for what’s important to them as a business.
Question 3. Can You Share Data On The Organisations Diversity?
Data is the new black, and nothing is clearer than stats presented before your eyes.
Question 4. How Diverse Is The Executive Team?
Noting the diversity of the leadership team says a lot about the upward mobility for diverse candidates and will certainly indicate a more inclusive for culture for candidates of underrepresented backgrounds.
Question 5. How Committed Is The Leadership Team To Diversity?
We know the company culture cascades down from the top, so what are the top sayings. Not only is the diversity of the leadership team important, but do have they prioritize it. Is it part of their strategy/vision for the company, is the importance of D&I embedded within the organization. Leaders need to regularly be communicating their commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.
Question 6. Are The Company’s Recruiting Effort Supporting A Diverse Culture?
Proactivity is key, listen to how they answer this question as achieving diversity more often than not requires a conscious and active effort from a company, if they communicate that to their recruiters – its proof they’re serious.
Question 7. What Diversity, Inclusion, And Cultural Training Has My Supervisor Had?
Our managers can make or break our experience, it’s important to make sure diversity is important to them and something they also have experience in.
Question 8. Who Hold My Supervisor Accountable To Diversity And Inclusions Measures?
Diversity should not be a one and done training session for your manager, however it should be an ongoing effort that they are held accountable for. D&I need to be embedded, and the impact depends on the longevity and some deep behavioral changes.
Question 9. Does The Company Have Other Diversity Programs In Place?
It would be fantastic if they pulled out a timeline of training programs, but the reality is they probably won’t. However the future is just as important, what are they implementing in the coming months. Do they have any existing mentorship schemes / coaching programs happening.
Question 10. Diversity Is A Very Broad Subject. Do You Have A Simplified Definition Of Diversity?
Diversity is the ways people differ and qualities of being unique at both an individual and group level.
Question 11. With Regards To Diversity In The Work Force, Does The Size Of The Organization Matter?
No, all organizations deal with or will at some point deal with a diverse work force. Organizations need to develop a management process that builds on the individual differences of their workforce for the benefit of the organization. The ability for an organization to fully utilize an employee’s potential based on the awareness of their employee’s uniqueness can positively affect the bottom line.
Question 12. What Does It Mean To Manage Diversity?
In the old days, it was something we had to do. It was a nice thing to do. Now, it is financially with regards to the bottom line. The organization has a choice to ignore issues related to diversity and open them up to a potential lawsuit or investigate and resolve issues before any adverse action is taken.
Question 13. Why Should A Business Owner And/or Human Resources Manger Care About Diversity?
America has always been a diverse population, which continues to evolve through technology, globalization, generational gaps, ethnicity, etc. Thus, the better we communicate with and understand our employees and our customers, the better the organization will become as a whole, from the bottom line, to employee and customer retention. Employees want to work in an environment that is welcoming and respectful. And if your employees feel welcome, respected and accepted, that will carry over to your customers. A diverse population that feels welcome and respected will also allow for creation of different ideas or new approaches to doing things.
Question 14. Which Diversity Topic Or Issue Is Often Overlooked In An Organization?
First would be socio-economic status. That is a person/employee’s background, their concept of work and why they work. (I.e. Understanding that some employees come to work when they are sick because they don’t feel they can afford to stay home, etc.) We will talk more about this subject at the WCHRA September lunch meeting. Second would be the generational gaps. Most work forces have employees that range in age from 16 to 70, and communicating to a 70-year-old is different than communicating with an 18-year-old. The same is true in regards to their concept of work and reasons for working.
Question 15. What Is The Most Common Mistake In Our Thinking About Diversity?
The most common mistake I see is when an organization says they value diversity and have it written in their policies, but the organization does not reflect that in its actions. Leaders need to walk the talk. There needs to be congruency in what they do, what they say and what their policies say.
Question 16. How Can Organizational Leadership And Hr Take A More Active Role In Diversity Within Their Organization?
Leaders need to take the opportunity to learn and understand the background and skills of their work force and then use that to the benefit of the organization and the customers. For example, knowing that your employee speaks a different language may be helpful in relating with customers. Human resources’ role needs to be the “heart” of the organization. They are the center of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. I will provide some HR action items during the September WCHRA lunch meeting.
Question 17. Many People Say We Are Off Track Striving For Multiculturalism, That It Does Not Work And Is Causing Great National Divides. What Do You Think?
As mentioned before, America is a very diverse population, and that is nothing new. What we need to do is to celebrate who we are and our individual histories and remember that we are all Americans in the end and that is our American heritage.
Question 18. Should Organizations Have Formal Policies And Procedures Relating To Issues About Religion And The Workplace?
I do not believe there is a need for a separate policy beyond the EEO policy requirements, but I do feel that you do need to make reasonable effort to accommodate issues related to religion.
Question 19. Can You Give Us Some Bullet Points Regarding Your Presentation At The September Wchra Lunch Meeting?
The strategic role of an HR manager for creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace, developing HR’s role as an advocate for supporting a welcoming, respectful organization, examining the big picture of organizational diversity and steps an HR manager can put in place and much more.
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