The Impact of Workplace DEI – Part I

Workplace DEI has become a hot topic in recent years…and rightly so.

Ensuring an inclusive environment and a level playing field isn’t just good ethics, it’s also good business. It’s no coincidence that organizations with gender diversity and employee engagement that are above average tend to outperform their below-average counterparts by up to 58%.

But it takes active effort and ongoing commitment to implement effective DEI strategies that have an impact.

In this 3-part series, we’ll look at workplace DEI and how it relates to hiring practices, promotions, and compensation.  We’ll consider how forward-thinking workplaces can leverage their resources and provide professional development opportunities that build truly equitable and inclusive work environments and that position them for growth.

To kick things off, let’s start with a basic definition. 

What is DEI in the workplace?

DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion. DEI initiatives are designed to advance these causes in work settings. They focus on breaking down biases, shifting mindsets, influencing behaviors, and implementing practices that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of the organization but especially in management and leadership positions.

Workplace DEI and hiring practices

The statistics around hiring practices paint a clear picture.  Collectively, we still have a long way to go in creating truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces.

Take this insight from a recent gender-based study on hiring. Men apply to jobs 13% more frequently than women do. And the culprit isn’t necessarily the well-documented confidence gap and higher rates of impostor syndrome experienced by women.

Gender-coded language in the job postings is a major reason why women shy away from applying for jobs they know they’re qualified for. They see words like “strong,” “competitive,” and “individual,” which are traditionally associated with the masculine, and assume that men will be favored during the hiring process.

It’s likely that the same logic deters women from pursuing specialty positions in male-dominated arenas, such as tech, finance, and manufacturing. A McKinsey report confirms that women are not adequately represented in highly skilled fields such as STEM. On the global scale, women comprise just under 30% of the labor force in scientific research and development.

The stats don’t get much better when it comes to other under-represented groups. In the US, 20% of LGBTQ people have faced hiring discrimination. Race adds another dimension, with a higher rate of LGBTQ people of color (32%) experiencing discrimination during job searches.

The power of workplace DEI training

One way to create a more just and equitable workplace is to provide virtual training that focuses specifically on DEI and hiring practices. Jigsaw Interactive offers a virtual and customizable learning solution to help educate and uplift your workforce. Schedule a demo to see how it works.

Hiring is just the first step. Once you’ve got great people on board, the next challenge is keeping them. In part 2 of this blog series, we’ll look at the importance of workplace DEI as it relates to promotions.