Are you suffering from Diversity Fatigue?

Are you suffering from Diversity Fatigue?

28th November 2018 Off By Vithoria Escobar

Today marks week 7 of our #Diversity Series. Are you still keeping up with all the D&I matters?
Do you feel like it’s too much? You might be suffering from Diversity Fatigue.

Are you tired of constantly hearing and reading about Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)? Do you feel that D&I topics are getting repetitive? Don’t worry, we can assure you are not alone. Those are symptoms of what is called Diversity Fatigue and it is affecting employers and employees around the globe.

Diversity and Inclusion are indeed receiving a lot of attention but we are still struggling to make the required progress needed. The trend towards D&I is real but it is not impacting the numbers. The tech workforce is only  25% female and if we consider Black and Latina women the number drops to 15%. From the Fortune500 CEOs only 6% are women.

It’s a complex overview. A recent tech research from Atlassia revealed that 80% of respondents agree that D&I is important but half don’t believe that it needs improvement. The results show that people are fed up with D&I discussions. There are so many facets and discussions happening but they don’t convert into real results. Representation, retention, and sense of belonging are still below 30% within underrepresented groups. The message is being heard but we are still lacking action.

A Vicious Circle

This frustrating limbo is called Diversity Fatigue. D&I are demanding issues and require time and effort. However, people are finding it difficult to stay motivated when they can’t see progress. And that is affecting their overall work performance.

An interesting result by Atlassia showed that individual participation fell 50% year over year. Companies are becoming repetitive, the results remain flat, people are frustrated and diversity fatigue is setting in.

People are aware that D&I are important issues but companies and employers are both failing to take responsibility. Here are a number of causes for this:

Right message, wrong communication

Most D&I programs appeal for increasing diversity in numbers but don’t focus on creating an inclusive supportive environment or sense of belonging throughout the company. Simply telling people to be ‘more diverse’ is subjective, especially if D&I is not embedded in the company’s culture. Other studies indicate that communication sounds mandatory and people are resistant to the idea of being told what to think. 

Solving the issue seems a mission impossible

Employers feel powerless as their individual actions are not changing the situation. They listen to streams of D&I concerns but they seem too complicated to solve. No real action by companies makes their employees start ignoring the issue. 

A Change of Strategy 

Companies need to take responsibility and commit to implementing real actions towards D&I if they want to change the pessimist scenario. So how do we start? Here are a few suggestions:

Measure team-level progress 

It is more complicated to achieve real results when focusing on the company as a whole. Instead, leaders can start by setting goals and take actions per department. Also, if minorities are only found in specific departments, employers won’t understand the value of D&I.  

Value employers expertise

If you really care about D&I, companies need to value the expertise of the underrepresented groups. A good way to start is to create a group where they feel comfortable to engage, share their stories and perspectives. Leaders should use these opportunities to learn from their employee knowledge and ask for their opinions on potential solutions. It makes employees feel included, listened to and shows that leaders are genuinely interested in making a difference.

Implement new practices

As discussed last week, successful practices will help companies to improve their D&I. It is important to recall that D&I is challenging and companies with effective tactical programs have a great competitive advantage. Quotas, training programmes, and leadership participation are all examples of ways of implementing and driving change. 

How Abodoo & #SmartWorking Can Support Companies

At Abodoo we believe that a diverse workforce is key for businesses to reach their highest potential. By registering with us, we offer companies a matching skills platform connecting companies with a range of #SmartWorkers. We value skills and individuals’ profiles are anonymous to enhance and guarantee a more fair and impartial screening and hiring process.

D&I is challenging. We’re here to help your company reach its goals. Abodoo’s #SmartWorking platform is a chance to include a diverse set of people to ensure diverse ideas and drive innovation. Give it a try by posting your job for free today on Abodoo.com!

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