A Diverse Workplace is an Authentic Workplace

It’s LGBTQA+ Pride Month and we would show our support for the community in a way we do best, by advocating for diversity and inclusion at work.

A diverse and inclusive workplace allows people to have the freedom to express opinions, voice out their values, be themselves and eventually ensues fulfilment on the job.

Cogs started out 14 years ago in talent search with the creative industry. It’s our privilege to have been working with companies who are frontrunners in endorsing and embracing diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices and their body of work.

Click here to view the best workplaces for LGBTQA+ equality

And since it is officially LGBTQA+ Pride Month,  we would show our support for the community in a way we do best, by advocating for diversity and inclusion (D&I) at workplaces.

We believe work should bring out the best in people and this happens when you are able to bring your natural self to the working environment.

Cogs is committed to ensuring that we are an inclusive environment for all our employees regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

One of the conditions to a fun, collaborative working environment is the human resource policy of diversity and inclusion.

So let us show you the benefits of this policy and take you through how you can start and sustain a great culture within the organisation.

It pays to have diversity and inclusion

As we grew to cover talent search for a myriad of other industries over the years, we witnessed more companies adopting diversity and inclusion policies only to experience the positive returns on employee satisfaction, financial returns and innovation output.

These are further confirmed by Badgett, Durso, Kastanis & Mallory published a review in 2013 at The Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA Law School dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. The review assessed the real business impact of LGBT-supportive workplace policies and concluded the following:

  • LGBT-supportive policies or workplace climates are most strongly linked to more openness about being LGBT.
  • There are fairly strong links between LGBT-supportive policies and workplace climates to less discrimination, improved health outcomes, increased job satisfaction, and greater job commitment
  • Other research finds that these business outcomes, which are influenced by LGBT-supportive policies or workplace Increased productivity

These benefits and outcomes might sound too idyllic, but they are actually achievable.

The secret to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace

Allow for authenticity.

Authenticity helps people build deeper, more meaningful connections with others, and there’s a scientific reason for this occurring.

Authentic living is about being and bringing your unique, real self to work. Regardless of their outward appearance i.e. dress codes, workstation decor to the inward-looking i.e. ethnicity, religious beliefs and identity e.g. sexual orientation, people should be comfortable enough to be able to express themselves.

Ways to create a successful diversity and inclusive workplace

It is heartwarming to know that a majority of companies acknowledge the significance of diversity and inclusion.

However, diversity and inclusion programmes are hardly implemented and those who were able to start one, often aren’t able to see through their efforts.

In a 2017 research, BCG reported that 97% of companies have diversity programs in place – but only 25% of employees from these diverse groups felt that they have personally benefited from their company’s efforts.

Here are some things you can consider in ensuring the success of your policy:

  1. Zero-Tolerance Policy

One can argue, it sounds ironic to endorse for authenticity while a zero-tolerance co-exists in the workplace.

But in replicating a safe environment that fosters authenticity, organisations must be mindful of individuals who might use the guise of freedom of expression to justify negative traits or behaviour like temper tantrums, making disparaging remarks to even the innocent sharing of inappropriate humour at work.

To prevent that from happening, there has to be a zero-tolerance measure to eliminate undesirable behaviour from brewing.

  1. Buy-in from the top

Policies only exist on paper but real change begins with the adoption and endorsement from upper management.

Are your leaders setting exemplarily examples in accordance with your policies?

Is there transparency when making decisions at work e.g. during hiring/promotion, when delegating work, deciding on compensations and rewards?

Do they standing up or using their authority to call out bad behaviour?

We cannot expect leaders to take on change overnight. We have to inspire change.

One way is by providing training e.g. self-awareness programs, cultural awareness and communication workshops. All to create a respectful, efficient, and compliant workplace.

  1. Making structural interventions

What is ‘structural’ intervention?

Taking planned approaches to changing or improving organizational structures and processes, to minimize negative side effects and maximize organizational effectiveness.

Simple solutions that you can begin with are changing the options on all forms to include non-intrusive, non-binary gender choices. If you have more resources, perhaps even building gender-neutral restrooms.

Ensuring sustainability and success for your diversity and inclusion program

Diversity and inclusion shouldn’t just be a once in a year topic in women’s month or pride month.

It should make its way as an essential/key pillar in the workplace and a long-term commitment of your company/organisation.

You would only know if your diversity and inclusion programme or policy has been effective when you measure it.

Click here to see other HR experts alternative solutions for measuring diversity programs

Before you go, ‘great, yet another employee satisfaction survey‘, Anna Johansson, a contributor at Forbes has an unconventional methodology to share.

Johansson suggests for measuring each person’s title and level within a company, this shows how much relative power an individual has. How often someone attends pivotal meetings, or how much they’re involved in key decision-making processes or even documenting the makeup of your talent acquisition team.

Her suggestions prevent unconscious biases from taking root.

The last step towards success is to communicate and share with the findings to key stakeholders within your organisation. So informed business decisions can be made to improve the state of the workplace.

“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”
— Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google


Want to build a team that drives innovation or searching for the right talent to transform your business? Speak to our Cogs team near you.


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