Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace Panel Discussion
Recording from Harbor panel discussion on “Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace”.
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Search “diversity” and many articles and tools show up. www.shrm.org
- SHIFT HR Compliance Training – Variety of civility & preventing harassment trainings. www.shiftelt.com
- www.pridevmc.org (Check out the “Resources” tab!)
Q&A with Gillian Florentine | The guest moderator for our panel discussion
Do you have any thoughts that you would like to share with the Harbor Community on Diversity and Inclusion?
This is an important topic to discuss. Frankly, it should be woven into conversation all the time, not just when major events occur that force us to revisit the topic. It’s too easy to get “comfortable” in a way of doing things that often makes us lose sight of this issue. I’m hopeful that bringing this issue back into focus actually sticks this time around.
How do you create an environment where every voice is welcome, heard and respected?
Part of this is done at the hiring / interviewing stage. It’s important to evaluate the character of the individual you’re hiring. If you hire someone who is close-minded, you’re going to have a hard time getting them to hear, understand, and respect the points of view of others.
Part of this is how the top leaders behave. If they actively solicit feedback from all staff and implement some (not necessarily all) suggestions, it shows the staff that ideas and opinions are welcome. The behavior at the top has to reflect how staff should behave.
What does a healthy culture of diversity and inclusion in the workspace mean to you?
The company employs people who have different perspectives. It’s too easy to hire like-minded people. As a company, you have to force yourself to not do that. Welcoming different perspectives and installing the best ideas from those diverse perspectives is what makes good companies great.
Does IndeVets have a diversity and inclusion program?
We are working to build one as we speak. We sought volunteers from our staff and formed an inaugural group of about a dozen doctors and staff. The group will be responsible for outlining diversity and inclusion goals and how to achieve those goals.
In your opinion, what does a D&I program look like?
Simple goals that are practically achievable and accomplish the outcomes the group seeks. Installing simple actions or tasks that actually help all of us pay attention to this topic more and ensure each person at work feels heard and included.
What has been the biggest hurdle with talking about and/or implanting a diversity and inclusion program?
- How to balance spreading the feeling that everyone is heard and included while still recognizing business is not a democracy.
- Getting people comfortable with things that may be uncomfortable at the outset…such as a change in systems or protocol to eliminate inadvertent exclusion.
What specific training do you provide your staff?
- Web-based training on Preventing Workplace Harassment & Discrimination, Unconscious Bias, and Civility at Work.