Diversity seems to be the topic of everyone’s mind today, and yet many companies don’t seem to be fully diverse as they would like. More often than not, the lack of diversity is not due to some sort of hidden malice. Creating diversity for your business is difficult, and there are a lot of technical issues that you will need to avoid in the process.

4 reasons your business is not as diverse as it could be

If you want your business to be diverse, you will need to be prepared to open your mind and make the necessary changes. Here are some pitfalls you might encounter along the way:

1. Lack of diverse leadership

Diversity should not be top-down or top-down – it should apply unilaterally to an organization. If your leadership is not diversified, diversify other areas of your business is going to be much more difficult. A diverse top management will naturally guide a company towards diversity as a whole, while an undiversified leadership can stay focused on other priorities.

The lack of diverse leadership in a business is a simple principle that is one of the biggest barriers to diversity today. According to a report by DiversityJobs, about 78% of senior managers are men and 85% are white. The sooner these numbers start to swell and change, the sooner the impact will be felt at all levels of an organization.

Put the wheel in motion at the top

Think about diversifying your business leadership as well as setting the wheel in motion: the action itself will continue to affect change well beyond the C-suite.

2. Focus only on employees

The inescapable definition of professional diversity is to have a diverse team. But building a diverse team isn’t the only thing a business can do to support a more diverse world. You can’t just be a diverse outpost in a seamless landscape. Your business should seek to encourage and strengthen diversity well beyond its walls.

Consider the whole landscape of your business

Think about all the vendors, vendors, and partners that you currently manage. Do they all meet your own diversity standards? This is a question that more and more companies are forced to ask themselves. For this reason, Certifiable diversity – a platform that connects businesses with various vendors in their field or industry – has grown so much recently.

The new frontier of diversity

It may take a little help, but emphasizing the “greater good of diversity” beyond your business is the new frontier of diversity.

3. Too narrow a definition of “diversity”

It is important to have a business in which ethnicities, cultures and genders are well represented. However, these are not the only factors that help determine a person’s identity.

No less important are factors such as age, socio-economic background or religious beliefs. These qualities can all contribute to offices that truly embrace a multiplicity of perspectives.

Your end diversity goal shouldn’t be just to make your business more like the world at large. You also need to consider as many factors as possible regarding what makes an office truly diverse? How do you represent your company to yourself, your employees and the world?

4. Homogeneous optics

Businesses owned by people of color have a long history, which spans good in the present – to hide the diversity of their founders or employees in order to “integrate”.

The front end of businesses – salespeople, spokespersons, recruiters, etc. is predominantly white. Where is it? Have we only shown a ‘white face’ and has business success really been achieved with more people of color at the top than we think?

It’s time to see the truth. Many had to hide their origins, nationality, color, etc. to fit in is a sad comment on all of us. This fact alone can stifle diversity efforts inside and outside your business.

The key here is to make sure that your business looks as diverse as it really is; show your diversity as the asset it really is.

The diversity is something that should be researched, but be sure to avoid these pitfalls along the way.

A truly diverse business is one that is ready to take on whatever challenge the modern world throws at it – everyone works together with every effort possible. Isn’t that something worth investing in?

Image Credit: fauxels; pexels; Thank you!

Deanna ritchie

Editor-in-chief at ReadWrite

Deanna is the editor of ReadWrite. Previously, she worked as an editor for Startup Grind and has over 20 years of experience in content management and content development.

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