When you think of diversity what companies do you think about? What does it mean to have a diverse workforce? Is diversity just associated with color or sex? These are difficult questions in a social time when even the idea of who we are is constantly changing. However, we can say definitively which companies are more inclusive and open regarding all backgrounds and perspectives on life. If you are wondering which companies made it to the top of the list then you came to the right place. Here are the top 10 companies (according to Forbes) that make it part of their purpose to employ a fully diverse culture.
- Marriott International
- Texas Health Resources
- Progressive Insurance
- Ultimate Software
- Wegmans Food Markets
- Publix Super Markets Inc
- Comcast NBC Universal
- Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
However, as the idea of diversity changes, companies, like the ones listed above, need to constantly re-evaluate how it hires and what type of representation it is employing. Many of these companies directly interact with the customers and the public at large. Representing their customers in an accurate way is critical to their business success.
What does diversity even mean?
Diversity is a big word. It isn’t easily defined and has probably been the subject to many college or graduate level thesis papers. However, diversity statistics can show us distinct improvements in the diversity of the modern workforce as compared to even a decade ago. You can see that women in leadership roles has increased by 20% in the past 10 years. You can see that the white workforce has decreased by 20% as Millennials and Gen Z kids grow and get jobs.
So, diversity, in general, is the idea that a uniform identity is disrupted by the inclusion of someone with a different background. Diversity doesn’t itself exclude any specific types of differences. As long as they are a basis for exclusion, they can be a basis for inclusion. Diversity in the workforce, as viewed by the younger generations is expanded from just sex and ethnicity to now include age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ideological background. If you can do your job, and you enjoy your job, then it doesn’t really matter where you came from.
Are workplaces getting better?
It is well documented that a diverse workforce provides the corporate business a stronger and more viable future. The general principle is that with diversity come new ideas that can improve on the business model as society changes and alters. Businesses can’t stay the same or they will stagnate. Society will and does change daily. Those that choose to remain will be undoubtedly left behind. It is better to accept that change is necessary and use it to your advantage, rather than fight change and only make it a detriment to improved business practices.
Workplaces are improving. As the old guard of a prior generation retires, a new mor open minded generation is taking its place at the helm of the boat. The boat might be slow to turn but it will. However, it is maybe too easy to hope for a better future when black and Latino representation in leadership roles is at a significant low.
How do we improve workplace diversity?
The simple answer is to be more inclusive. Instead of focusing so much on uniformity, look at what improvements an individual can bring to the table. This inherently opens up the market to people of different backgrounds. Instead of hiring someone that will do the same job that everyone prior did, you should hire someone that is better, different, and hungry.
Focus on technology to help with hiring. There are massive social benefits to getting hard numbers on diversity and making them transparent to employees and investors. Bad numbers will make the company accountable and force change. Good numbers will prove that what they are doing is spot on and working. Technology can also help remove unconscious biases from the hiring process which tend to be a significant factor to traditional uniform hiring practices.
Advertise to a more diverse crowd and attend workforce events at more diverse locations. Drawing in anyone via alternative methods can lead to a better pool of applicants. Younger generations actually prefer to work in a diverse work environment. Having only old white males in an office may be detrimental to employing capable workers that see your social principles as different and discriminatory.