The past decade-plus has seen a boom in diversity across different sectors. There have been many tremendous success stories, such as Marvel’s record-smashing Black Panther proving what African-American audiences knew all along, that a major studio tentpole led by an African-American cast can sell to a broader audience. However, there have been just as many, if not more, setbacks, such as Donald Sterling being forced to sell the Clippers after derogatory remarks and Roseanne Barr, Don Cherry, and other media stars losing their roles or shows for the same social sin.
You don’t want your company to wind up on the wrong side of history or the balance sheet as a result of remarks or practices sparked by a lack of insight. A diverse, inclusive workplace can help you make money and avoid embarrassing and damaging PR nightmares. An inclusive workplace is worth it – and these tips can help you make it a reality for your company.
Your company cannot merely be diverse or inclusive “in theory.” It needs to be such in practice. Hire a diverse group of people, and that doesn’t just mean “tokenism,” either. Hire people according to what your company needs in terms of skill sets – and diverse opinions are worthwhile skill sets. Remember, you aren’t just marketing your products to people who look and think like you.
To survive and succeed, you must diversify your brand, and that begins by diversifying your workforce.
Different ideas are to be embraced, not shunned. You want to make sure to cultivate a workplace where everyone feels included in the process of making your products a reality.
Ask and You Shall Receive
That means actively asking questions of your employees and not being afraid of the answers. Sometimes, employees might suggest things that are uncomfortable to you. Maybe you genuinely didn’t think of the implications of a certain marketing campaign, or are overlooking something in the way a product may appeal to one demographic versus another. By asking your workforce for their genuine opinions, you are actively including them and building an inclusive workforce, which in turn can give you the insight you need to succeed.
Building a diverse, inclusive workplace isn’t just morally righteous – it’s just good business sense.