Sep 21, 2017

Diversity is only the first step towards inclusion

“Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.”
—  Sir Winston Churchill

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
 Ancient Proverb

 

As the moderators of two upcoming Lingo Live events, we were tasked with writing a blog post that addresses the importance of diversity and answer the questions: why now? why these events?

We like diversity at Lingo Live, but we decided to talk about a word that isn’t getting so much buzz…inclusion. It’s usually grouped in with diversity, but we don’t think it’s being given the same amount of attention.

In the last 10 years, the cultural, gender and racial profiles of many tech companies have become more diverse. Lingo Live is thrilled that diversity is now an HR aspiration. However, we believe that workforce diversity is just the first step towards fostering employee engagement. Checking off boxes on an employment form is not the definition of an “inclusive” workplace, and we still have a lot of work ahead of us if we want “diverse” employees to feel embraced by employers and peers.

So how exactly does a company create an inclusive culture? Every company is different, by design, but there are some common threads. And since we have been fortunate enough to work with some progressive companies that have successfully created an inclusive environment, we’ve made a checklist for companies looking to build an inclusive culture.

  1. Gender unbiased: Are you asking the men and women in your workforce if they feel gender plays a role (positive or negative) in the opportunities they are given?
  2. Common language: What is the primary language spoken in team meetings, and does every team receive support communicating in that common language?
  3. Pro-Dev: Are you offering your employees professional development benefits that they actually want? (How do you know? Hint: If they aren’t using the benefits, they’re probably not what employees want. )
  4. Culture: Does your company offer a mentor/buddy/or coaching program for foreign-born employees new to the American workplace?
  5. Recruiting: Inclusion begins with new hires you welcome into your culture. How deliberately are you diversifying your candidate pool?  When it comes to onboarding, how to you welcome new hires into your culture, and how can you accelerate the process of making them feel valued, safe, and included?

Diversity is only the first step. It’s a big one, but it’s riddled with words like “glass” and “ceiling”. The follow-up is inclusion, and Lingo Live supports any company that has taken the first steps towards building an inclusive culture. It’s not easy… but isn’t everything worth having worth working for?

If you’d like to learn more ways to create a diverse and inclusive company culture from companies with proven track records, please visit our past event recording at:

  1. Defining Success – Stories from Women Tech – a Webinar on Sept 27th
  2. The Joint War for Technical Talent – an in-person breakfast panel discussion on Sept 29th

We’d love to see you there!

 

Christine Olivas, VP of Marketing, and Kristin Vincenzo, Marketing Director, at Lingo Live

Want to read more about Diversity and Inclusion? Check out Language as Action and Inclusion Efforts Exclude an Important Group.

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Company Culture

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