3 Challenges in Achieving DEI

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This blog post is part of a mini-series on the ongoing pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion in HR. If you just got here, you can find the first article of the series here – 3 Ways DEI can help improve your workplace.

Despite the clear benefits, achieving DEI in the workplace is not without its challenges. Several barriers such as unconscious bias, lack of representation at all levels and inadequate policies hinder progress and require dedicated efforts to overcome.

Check in on your unconscious bias

Unconscious biases, rooted in social stereotypes and assumptions, influence decision-making processes. A blind spot for many, biases directly affect hiring, promotions, and employee development. 

Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups. They stem from our desire to organize our world in a way that we can understand. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you discover that you adhere to some biases that affect your workplace. Instead, approach it as a tool for personal and company growth.

Overcoming unconscious biases first requires identifying them. An easy first step is to pay attention to the language you use toward certain groups. Overly positive or negative talk is often an indicator of bias.

Once identified, organizations can seek out and take part in workshops or trainings. These trainings can help design corrective maneuvers and foster curiosity, courageousness, and commitment. This will help lay the groundwork for a more inclusive workplace moving forward.

Lack of representation at all levels

Many organizations struggle with achieving representation at all levels, especially in leadership positions. The result? Lack of representation can perpetuate inequalities and hinder the advancement of underrepresented groups.

It is a hurdle that is often easier identified than dealt with. Addressing it requires intentional efforts to create equal opportunities across the board. Look at career progression, mentoring programs and succession planning in your organization. They will certainly give you insights into present and future representation.

Inadequate Diversity Initiatives and Policies

If your organization does not have clear goals and a path of implementation in place, it may be time to revisit your approach.  

Well-defined diversity initiatives and policies are the foundation of an inclusive environment. They serve as a signal from leadership that DEI is important inside the organization.

Where should you start? We suggest exploring diversity-focused programs and policies that prevent discrimination and promote fairness and inclusion. 

Remember, prioritizing DEI is an ongoing journey, requiring continuous efforts, awareness, and adaptation. Let us work together to create a future where diversity and inclusion are the norm rather than the exception.

Looking for someone to champion your efforts in DEI? We would love to help. Reach out →