Inclusion, Diversity Remain an Uncommonness for Senior PositionsBy Anamary Olivas | Mon, 06/27/2022 - 17:26
Diversity and inclusion remain a goal to be achieved in workplaces, but even more so in boardrooms. The International Labor Organization (ILO) released a report with guidelines that may contribute to greater inclusivity through clear action steps.
Many companies have made progress regarding labor inclusion, but generally these are large multinational companies that tend to be more inclusive in their senior management. ILO reported that women, LGBTQ+ employees and people with disabilities are more likely to be stuck at the lowest levels of staff. “If inclusion remains a privilege experienced only by the top positions, companies risk missing out on the considerable benefits they could gain if it were experienced by the workforce at all levels regardless of their personal characteristics,” said the ILO.
The ILO conducted a study in 75 countries, where it surveyed and studied workers from the lowest to the highest positions. According to the organization, there are four principles that enable companies to achieve a transformational change. The first principle is applying policies of diversity and inclusion as part of the workplace strategy and culture. When these policies are embedded in values and in normalized behaviors, people are 21 percent more likely to feel encouraged and supported in their professional development.
The second principle is to include minorities in decision-making processes. When historically excluded groups are represented in senior management, there is a positive impact that expands to all employees. For example, if women are represented in at least 40% percent of senior management positions, the rest of the workers are 9 percent more likely to feel included, and 10 percent more likely to feel encouraged and supported in their professional development.
The third principle is accountability. In companies where high-level leaders are held accountable for their actions toward diversity and inclusion, workers are 11 percent more likely to feel committed to the company. Also, releasing regular reports can help the staff to recognize a long-term commitment to inclusion and diversity.
The fourth principle is consistency, since the highest levels of inclusion, and its benefits, are fully materialized when the measures are applied integrally, from hiring to employee development and retention. These policies should be applied in a cohesive and generalized manner for them to be effective.