Diversity (or the lack thereof) can make a major impact on businesses of all types and sizes. In keeping with its mission to support local businesses by helping them grow and thrive, the Chamber is providing multiple educational events that outline how to embrace inclusivity and enhance diversity to reap both tangible and intangible benefits.
Last year, two enlightening Diversity Dialogues featuring panels of local leaders delivered a wealth of information, covering a wide variety of topics but focusing on why creating diversity in the workplace is important and offering advice on the most effective ways to do so.
A Firm Foundation
At the June 6 event, the panelists shared strategies for creating a diverse culture. They began by encouraging businesses to first, know and understand their existing culture and their employees; next, make diversity a core value; and finally, to provide the physical spaces necessary to support this value. The panel explained that building the concept into every aspect of a workplace makes it easier to create and maintain a diverse community and environment.
The panel also pointed out that true diversity is not measured by the demographics of an office; it’s more of a mindset than a number, and successfully adopting this mindset helps shape the narrative for a business, affecting both its internal and external perceptions.
What Does Diversity Mean?
At the next Diversity Dialogue on October 30, the definition of diversity was explored, with the panel stressing that diversity means so much more than differences in race and gender, the two categories that most often come to mind.
Diversity of thought, which stems from different ages, backgrounds, cultures and life experiences, is every bit as important, particularly when it comes to solving problems and fostering innovation. A truly diverse workplace appeals to and accommodates all of these audiences.
The Bottom Line
The October event touched on topics that prove how increased diversity can lead to increased profits and broader success, offering tips on how to:
- Widen your audience and scope of work to include other sectors.
- Harness the power of female and minority ownership to go after more corporate contracts.
- Gain a competitive advantage by serving a wider variety of people.
- Engage more businesses and be more intentional.
- Be flexible and adaptable, remembering that while your clients and audience may not look like you, you must meet them where they are.
- Spread a wider net for recruiting talent and score more opportunities by leveraging your diverse culture.
How to Build a Culture of Diversity
In addition to discussing why diversity matters, both Diversity Dialogues included concrete steps that lead businesses to their diversity goals, advising:
- The use of personality tests to help build a positive and successful culture.
- The evaluation of personalities to make sure they fit with the culture you’ve created.
- A focus on helping everyone on your team understand the diverse personalities around them and training them how to adapt and best communicate with these differences.
WANT MORE? COMING IN 2020!
Don’t miss the Chamber’s upcoming diversity-centric events, including the ﬁrst 2020 Diversity Dialogue:
- Women Leading in Business - TBA / Work Together Business Studio
- The Diversity Summit - September 22, 2020