Transforming Your Organization to an Inclusive Corporation Free From Bias and Discrimination


Dhaxle Communication and Outreach

In an interview in 1971, the late Muhammad Ali wondered why everything was white. “Everything good was white, and the angel food cake was the white cake, and the devil food cake was the chocolate cake!” he said. He rightfully mentioned that the positive symbols and figures in all of our lives are white; figures such as Snow White and Jesus, or the President living in the White House. All the while, the negative symbols were all black; words such as blackmailing or the ugly duckling (also black). Living in a world where everything positive is white and everything opposite of that is black has led to a systematical negative image of people of color, and a chronic mental stressor felt by people of color.

Black Lives Matter

A few weeks ago, it was normal to dismiss these observations and call them far-fetched. However, due to the recent protests and the awareness that these protests have created, big corporation and brands are triggered to approach the dialogue by looking at it from the point of view of a minority. In statements released by big brands, racism and discrimination are both condemned and extended with the actions they take towards working against racism. They encourage clients, business partners, and their employees to strive for positive behavior towards minorities in the workplace and in general. Other major brands have donated money to causes that are fighting racism. The statements and judgments against discrimination coming from these corporations are not without effort. For a long time, many companies have had inclusion and diversity programs. However, with the recent events, it seems that these programs are not enough. In an article in HBR, the results of inclusion and diversity programs resulted in minor-to-negative results. Additionally, the programs are only set to give general advice in how the companies’ feel towards diversity in their company.

Organizations Speaking Up

The latest Black Lives Matter protests ask for action-driven approaches in order to motivate their employee to take part in conducive behavior towards all minorities. By making these statements, brands and corporation are publicly confirmed (on social media) as not being racist and applauded for their efforts for being a part of the change. The opposite is also happening. Corporations, brands, influencers, and politicians are being called out for not speaking up against racism. Some corporations were judged about their statement when employees were claiming that their workplace does not align with their statements against discrimination. Others have been accused of using the BLM momentum for marketing purposes and have been challenged to put their money where their mouth is. In other words, they are asking the question: which actions will they take? One may conclude that speaking up against racism and showing conducive behavior against fighting racism leads to positive reputation and vice versa.
For many big corporations and brands, making statements and changing the workforce in such a small amount of time is achievable because of their available resources and expertise. However, for many enterprises, it is a challenge to keep up. In such a small amount of time, it’s challenging to make a statement and act upon moving towards a workplace with conducive behavior against minorities. This is unfortunate, because papers have shown the advantages of having a diverse workplace. For example; workplace diversity leads to having a healthy environment. Results also include high productivity, an increase in motivation, and attracting great talent to the workforce. This empirically leads to higher business performance.

Conducive Behavior in Your Workplace

So, how can corporations transform the behavior in the workplace into a healthy environment for all ethnicities, sexes, and religions? Dhaxle has come up with three strategies for how to approach racial discrimination, as well as how to mitigate and create a healthy environment. These pillars are based on:
·         How to hire people without any racial bias
·         How to create a safe work environment for difficult conversations
·         How to embed your ideals about anti-racism into the values of your company

How Can You Hire People Without Any Racial Bias

Dhaxle believes that when making sure your employees know what the consequences of violating the racial and discriminating rules are, conducive behavior will follow based on these rules when hiring people. It will help employees’ unconscious biases, and they will prioritize the creation of a more diversified and genuine workplace. “Unconscious bias” comes from things we hear and see, as well as what the default is that is presented to us. Examples include those explained by Muhammed Ali in his 1971 interview. It is widely accepted that what we see, what we hear, and what we are taught, influences our thinking without us realizing it. When hiring blind, all identification details from your candidates’ resumes and applications are removed, which gives space to judge and hire candidates based on their skills and experiences. As a result of a paper by McKinsey named “Diversity Matters,” those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their industry medians. Research was conducted that looked at 366 public companies across a range of industries in Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

How to Create a Safe Work Environment for Difficult Conversations

For employees in the workplace, it is important to create an inclusive environment, where people feel safe to bring what they have to offer to the table and share their concerns irrespective of their cultural diversity. Racial identity development and the dynamics of intergroup conflict is the main important goal when conducting racial dialogues. In order to achieve organizational reform, it is vital to have genuine and open conversation with your employees about equality on a continuous base. The feeling of a culture will start to develop when those conversations occur on a monthly basis. As a result, creating a culture of inclusivity also necessitates building individual relationships. The conducive behavior will show in colleagues becoming more open and receptive towards one other, not only during a conversation about race.

Embedding Your Ideals About Anti-Racism in the Values of Your Company

Corporations can actively reduce bias through training along with embedding processes, policies, and expectations that help create a culture rooted in diversity and inclusion. By creating awareness training, unconscious bias can be exposed. Also, your employees get to recognize that the bias is there and they find the ability to confront their own bias. Left unchecked, biases can also shape a company or industry’s culture and norms, says Iris Bohnet, director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the author of What Works: Gender Equality by Design.
By following these pillars, a nonracial bias and healthy environment can be created for all ethnicities, which will lead to higher productivity. Your corporation will attract great talent, leading to higher business performances.
Keywords: Workplace, Behavior, healthy environment, conducive behavior, Talent Management, highly productive, teamwork.
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Communication and Outreach