5 Ways to Create A More Diverse Workplace

by Claude Dee Laguerre

Jun 30, 2020

Black Lives Matter: Now What?

The year 2020 has been unlike anything we’ve ever seen, leaving many wishing they could simply skip its traumatic events. This year’s COVID-19 pandemic and gruelling battle for Black civil rights have left an unforgettable imprint on history.

More recently, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained widespread attention and galvanized many around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered to express their anger and stand in solidarity.

Systemic racial discrimination in employment and its disproportionate impact on the Black community has been a significant topic of discussion worldwide. The clock has struck, the hour is past and individuals are calling out companies and urging them to pledge to fair representation and opportunities for all. Large corporations have issued statements to voice their firm opposition against racism and have vowed to operate ethically while supporting those affected, with several even promising to promote more Black employees to leadership positions.

Powerful Celebrities Are Speaking Up

In a series of posts shared about race, Clara Amfo stated, “I love blackness, it is stunning, majestic, inspiring but it is also not here to serve non-black people when it suits them via sports, music, hairstyles, entertainment, etc. It should be respected in the workplace and shouldn’t be ignored.⁣ You really want that utopian ideal of what our world could be?⁣ If so, then do the work, educate yourself and stand by us loudly, consistently, FOREVER.”

(Getty Images)

In a recent interview with the Globe and Mail, Dennis Mitchell, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Starlight Capital added, “When you’re putting together a work force, you want people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Cast a wider net, hire more diverse candidates and guide them into more senior positions to create true diversity within your organization.”

The Truth About Organizational Behaviour

When analyzing the labour force, Blacks occupy only 5.9% of total management positions in Canada— an incredibly small percentage compared to other visible minorities and their Caucasian counterparts. Moreover, according to CTV News Canada and Statistics Canada unemployment rates among Black Canadians are higher than other populations, and are more than double the rate of other visible minorities.

The Benefits of Workplace Diversity

It is important to note that diverging ethnocultural opinions foster innovation, increase consumer profits and support better decision making.

There are a myriad of ways to create more diversity in the workplace. Consider the following:

1. Make recruitment more inclusive.
2. Highlight diversity in your company’s communications and website.
3. Create more internships and grant programs for underrepresented youth.
4. Design a diverse interview panel.
5. Offer diversity training to combat unconscious bias.

I am proud to say that I work at Qode Media, a company that strives to recognize and hire individuals solely based on their merit. As a manager more specifically, I am honoured to contribute to this community of talented professionals. The efforts for inclusion of each team member stand out and make a remarkable difference for a more just and equitable workplace.

As with most fundamental change, this year has been revolutionary for many. It’s vital to not let these words and commitments fall subject to semantic satiation. There is far too much work to be done and everyone must do their part.