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Diversity & Inclusion on The Rise

July 9, 2020

D&I on The Rise | Softway | Digital Transformation
Frank Danna
Written By Frank Danna
Culture Diversity

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) has become a local, national, and global issue.

Over the past several weeks, as more people are starting to recognize the need for diversity and inclusion, it's important that businesses have a better and more globalized perspective on bias by the regions that they support. For many people working from the United States, our vision of D&I issues are narrowed to what we’re experiencing here, in this part of the world. Oftentimes we’re not considering other regional biases and factors that play into workplace issues. In this case, the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” applies—and for folks in D&I, there’s no excuse not to know what colleagues across the globe are dealing with.

At Softway, we've taken the time to analyze biases on a global scale. Our international team has analyzed diversity and inclusion in the workplace issues across different dimensions of bias to unpack common threads and unique themes that may have gone unnoticed and unchecked. Especially now, when D&I practitioners and HR folks aren’t able to travel—these biases may go unaddressed if not properly recognized.

Even if you aren’t part of a global organization, chances are high that you have colleagues that come from different parts of the world and have experienced varying forms of bias.

In our free ebook, we’ve outlined dimensions of diversity regionally across all areas of the world—from Asia-Pacific, Africa, India, Latin America, the United States, and beyond to help you expand your purview to a global landscape. Even if you’re engaging D&I on a local level.

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Global dimensions of diversity

There are some D&I trends that have emerged that cross borders, languages, and socioeconomic standing. Below, we’ll highlight three D&I issues that need to be considered and addressed on a location agnostic, global scale:

D&I for caregivers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers are being pushed to the breaking point. Caregivers represent parents, those with special needs family members, folks taking care of the elderly, etc. When it comes to this pandemic, and the plight of caregivers as an underserved community—this moment has been a huge wake-up call to leaders around the importance of D&I in workplaces.

In one big tech organization with over 25,000 employees, 30% of the workforce are caregivers. Consider that caregivers of younger children are expected to take calls, cook three meals a day (plus snacks!), potty train, teach, and maintain work deliverables. Therefore, expectations around ranking, reviews, and performance criteria need to be reconsidered for the time being.

D&I for an ongoing remote workforce

As hundreds of millions shift to working remotely, spotty Wi-Fi may be holding your virtual team back. Consider how internet access can limit productivity and team dynamics, especially if your team is spread out across the globe. Folks with limited Wi-Fi options are struggling. Lagging video calls means less face time, grainy audio means miscommunication and misalignment. With new, COVID specific operating principles for a work-from-home environment and better documentation, people struggling with technology can work in an asynchronous way and while still supporting the psychological safety in the workplace. 

D&I for a neurodiverse workforce

As a newer topic in D&I, neurodiversity should be recognized and celebrated. How inclusive are we of people with neurodiverse predispositions? Folks with ADHD, those who sit on the autistic spectrum, or people with dyspraxia—as a few examples—have learning and thinking differences that can aid organizations in a variety of ways. Recognizing the benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace as an asset, rather than a liability or handicap, will produce more opportunities for diversity of thought and innovation within your teams.

Where to go next

Consider diversity and inclusion a mission, not a checklist. Download our free D&I ebook to learn even more about this ever-changing topic. Our ebook, Changing the way we work: Diversity & Inclusion Trends for 2020 is available to download now, and is designed for people that are:

  • Standing up a new D&I team in the midst of backlash and calls for change
  • Leading a D&I team that can’t grow to meet the demands of this current situation
  • Unable to form a D&I team, but need leaders to be more effective and engaged around this topic

We're here to confidently say that getting started in diversity and inclusion or enhancing these practices doesn't need to be overly complicated. You can begin implementing diverse and inclusive awareness practices by the time you finish this ebook.

What we’d like for you to take away is that change must happen at the individual level, as well as at the organizational level. Institutionalized reform must happen to protect those diverse groups that were not previously included. But getting started requires your active participation.

A more diverse and inclusive workplace begins with—and in—you.

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