Workplace Diversity Equality 2  



1. Managing diversity means acknowledging people´s differences and seeing these differences as valuable. Supporting and encouraging a diverse business will help you recruit the best talent, keep your prized employees on board and deliver a better product, service or final outcome. A work culture that supports diversity will encourage employees to develop their strengths, think outside of the box, take risks and share innovative ideas.

Ignoring diversity issues will not only cost you and your organization time and money, which may or may not ,but can leave you with employees who are less productive because they feel unsupported. But a business reputation can be at stake, especially if issues about refusing an employee because one is transgender can have a serious adverse effect on a business reputation. Or can even present unexpected legal issues if a person makes an official complaint to the human rights tribunal. Arguing this person had all of the qualifications for the position being hired, yet your business or company refused to hire this person due to their self-identified sexual orientation.


2. As a leader, you need to learn more about and be sensitive to the many cultures of your teammates. It´s tempting to look for a one-size-fits-all solution for diversity issues in the workplace. Unfortunately, because diversity is so complex, there´s no step-by-step process to follow. Advice and strategies for one situation may not work for a similar problem in a different context.

Recognize fair isn't equal.

Many leaders make the mistake of assuming that being fair means treating every employee exactly the same. The "golden rule" to treat others as you "would like to be treated" is a dated philosophy that doesn't necessarily apply to our diverse workforce. You need to look at each member of your team as an individual with unique needs and make adjustments along the way.


3. Language evolves and appropriate terminology changes as North American culture and society shifts. As much as using the ¨right¨ terms or words is something we all work towards, it is equally important to foster a climate of open, effective communication and demonstrate a willingness to learn.

Whenever possible, the preferred terms or phrases of the person or group of people should be respected, and the difference between respectful and appropriate language by those belonging to a group (in-group) and those who don't belong (out-group) respected. As language is constantly evolving, it may be necessary to seek advice or more information for situations that are unclear.

Generally, descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age, for example, tend to over-emphasize and draw undue attention to the distinguishing attribute. Avoid the use of such descriptors unless they are relevant and valid.


4. Remember that you should never reveal a LGBT person's sexual orientation or gender identity without his or her permission. Sharing this kind of personal information about someone shows a lack of respect and might, in some cases, create problems and even be considered a form of harassment.

The single most important way to create a more inclusive work environment is to lead the way. Workplace attitudes usually start from the top and trickle down-recognize the value of diversity and support it in every way possible. Look for workshops or courses to help you lead a diverse workplace and, if possible, organize a seminar for your team to improve their understanding of each other.


Workforce diversity

1421693216-diversity-people-photo-montageWorkforce diversity includes the obvious differences you see when you look around: race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, religion and ethnicity. But it’s also the less obvious traits, the subtle differences that often register with us unconsciously, such as socioeconomic status, marital status, educational background, language, accent and appearance. We all have something that makes us unique, some special talent or ability that we bring to the table that differentiates us from our colleagues. That’s diversity at its best.

Diversity hiring is a competitive advantage Sourcing people from a diverse background is an essential part of a successful employment strategy. Workers who vary in age, gender, ability, sexual orientation, socio-economic background or culture, ethnicity and language, make a positive contribution to an organization’s workforce — they’re an asset to company culture and the bottom line. And a diverse workforce brings innovative and creative solutions to an organization from ‘outside the box’.

An effective corporate diversity program is a powerful way to gain a competitive advantage and stand apart from your competitors

As the work world continues to become more and more diverse, the role of a people leader is that much more challenging. With such a broad range of backgrounds, beliefs and experiences all coming together, it can be difficult for people to work together effectively. But, with a little extra understanding and some added insight, it doesn’t have to be hard. 

To lead a diverse team you have to understand why an inclusive workplace is so important, recognize what you can do to learn more about the many cultures of your team, and make sure you’re sensitive to the complexities of cultural diversity. 

Why is Inclusiveness so Important? 

Managing diversity means acknowledging people’s differences and seeing these differences as valuable. Supporting and encouraging a diverse business will help you recruit the best talent, keep your prized employees on board and deliver a better product, service or final outcome.  A work culture that supports diversity will encourage employees to develop their strengths, think outside of the box, take risks and share innovative ideas. 

Ignoring diversity issues will not only cost you and your organization time and money, which may or may not  ,but can leave you with employees who are less productive because they feel unsupported.  But a business reputation can be at stake, especially if issues about refusing an employee because one is transgender can have a serious adverse effect on a business reputation. Or can even present unexpected legal issues if a person makes an official complaint to the human rights tribunal. Arguing this person had all of the qualifications for the position being hired, yet your business or company refused to hire this person due to their self-identified sexual orientation.  

Ask for input.

If you want to create a more inclusive work environment why not look to your diverse team for help? Kick-start the discussion with a suggestion box, brainstorming session or online survey to examine what works and what areas need to be improved. Consider creating a "diversity team” that meets each month to talk about your progress and suggests new initiatives.

This will help you identify problem areas, point out the source of diversity challenges and suggest solutions as a team. 

Be accommodating.

As an intercultural manager you will have to be flexible if you’re going to support the many cultures in your workplace. Show respect and courtesy by modifying your vacation policies to accommodate cultural requests, or booking meetings around faith-based event dates. If there are language barriers in the office, pair your employee with another team member who speaks their language and make sure your communication methods are reaching everyone effectively. Also, make sure you consider things like cultural food requirements at your lunch meetings and dress codes that support different backgrounds. 

Celebrate your differences.

As a leader, you need to help your staff open their eyes and come to terms with any of their own biases. Find ways for employees to share their culture with the rest of the team while getting to know each other a little better. Organize a "global” potluck lunch or celebrate a different cultural event in the workplace each quarter or month. This will help you break down any barriers that can divide your employees, learn more about unique cultures and send a welcoming and supportive message to your staff.

Inclusive businesses enjoy the benefits of getting the most out of their employees and creating a more committed and loyal team. Create a culture of inclusion and diversity by being flexible, respectful and taking action to bring your team together. Treating diversity in the workplace as an asset to you and your business will allow you to boost your bottom line and establish your organization as a dynamic, welcoming place to work.

We encourage employers or business owners who wish to implement diversity within their place of business, to contact me for more information. You can also become a member of Transgender Insight and utilize our exclusive "Transgender Journey" area. This section is a full informative area covering important topics that will assist you or your HR department towards understanding issues regarding transgender individuals.

Victoria Tamara