Mandating and enforcing culture
This assumption is limited—and limiting—and detrimental to diversity efforts.
What we suggest here is that diversity goes beyond increasing the number of different identity-group affiliations on the payroll to recognizing that such an effort is merely the first step in managing a diverse workforce for the organization’s utmost benefit.
And in doing so, they are able to bring more of their whole selves to the workplace and identify more fully with the work they do, setting in motion a virtuous circle.
The Idea in Practice A public-interest law firm’s all-white staff’s clients are exclusively white.
When employees use their differences to shape new goals, processes, leadership approaches, and teams, they bring more of themselves to work.
They feel more committed to their jobs—and their companies grow. Transcend two existing diversity paradigms: assimilation (“we’re all the same”) or differentiation (“we celebrate differences”).
Additional suggestions for achieving integration: 1. But to fit in, she avoids sharing the real source of her inspiration with her colleagues—all white men.
Open discussion of cultural differences would engage her more fully in work and workplace relationships. Eliminate all forms of dominance (by hierarchy, function, race, gender, etc.) that inhibit full contribution. In diverse workforces, people share more feelings and ideas. Demonstrate your commitment to diversity by acknowledging tensions—and resolving them swiftly.
Our goal is to help business leaders see what their own approach to diversity currently is and how it may already have influenced their companies’ diversity efforts.