When most people think about diversity and inclusion, they tend to think primarily – although certainly not exclusively – in terms of visually identifiable characteristics, such as race and gender. The type of diversity that is apparent on a company website photo or clothing company magazine ad, with a half-dozen racially diverse men and women smiling and laughing together. But some suggest that younger generations might have a very different perspective on comprises “diversity.”
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials surpassed Gen Xers as the largest cohort in the U.S. workforce in Q1 of 2015. Yet, despite their prominent position in the workplace, there are still many misconceptions and stereotypes about millennials. We’ve selected a few to take a closer look at.
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, we’ve made the argument over and over again that the purpose of encouraging these two key values within an organization is not an altruistic but a strategic imperative. Diverse and inclusive companies consistently outperform companies that are less diverse and inclusive for a variety of reasons. We’ve talked about how diverse perspectives can help tap into diverse markets, for example. However, here’s another benefit of diverse and inclusive workplaces may often go overlooked.
The shift from focusing on diversity to focusing on inclusion is in process. Not because it's "nice" to do, but because in this increasingly global and increasingly diverse world, it is need to do for businesses that wish to remain competitive from both an employer and a market standpoint.
Diversity and inclusion are goals we’ve obviously promoted heavily over the years, and we’re always happy to see companies not only recognize the importance of those complementary goals, but also to take action in promoting them. That’s why we were so excited to see the recent development with Apple. Writing for CNN Tech, Sara Ashley O’Brien covered the recent move by Apple to hire its first VP of inclusion and diversity – Denise Young Smith.
We’ve written frequently about unconscious bias. It’s a factor that impacts our relationships with others in both personal and professional ways—and it’s pervasive. We often think about unconscious bias and its impacts on interactions with others of different races, ethnicities, or genders.
But, Bella DePaulo, in an article for Quartz, notes that there is another form of discrimination that often goes unseen.
In a segment on National Public Radio’s Hidden Brain, Rachel Martin interviewed NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam on research behind efforts to get more low-income students into college; more specifically, the most selective colleges.
This research is important for several reasons.
As the business world is increasingly recognizing the importance of a diverse and inclusive workplace – both in terms of corporate image as well as concrete business advantages, quotas have become a popular means of achieving that goal. Writing in the Wall Street Journal and focusing specifically on the hiring of women, Rachel Feintzeig says, “Realizing that simply voicing support for diversity initiatives won’t lead to meaningful change, big companies are setting discrete goals for hiring and retaining women. These include mandating that diverse candidates are interviewed for jobs, and ensuring that new hires get interviewed or vetted by someone other than white men.”
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and usually that is in the context of characteristics we commonly associate with notions of diversity: race, religion, sex, ethnicity, etc. Recently, Robert D. Austin and Gary P. Pisano wrote an article for Harvard Business Review that looks at a rarely-studied form of diversity: “Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage.”
In the article, Austin and Pisano look at a growing trend in American business towards recognizing the potential contributions of those with various neurological conditions, such as autism, ADHD, social anxiety disorders and others. They term this group “neurodiverse.”
Last month, Claire Zillman wrote an article for Forbe’s titled “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Used This Simple Trick to Cut Down on ‘Manterrupting.’”
Zillman cites a new study of oral arguments from researchers at Northwestern University which “found that as more women join the Supreme Court—there are three now, the most ever—‘the reaction of the male justices and the male [lawyers] has been to increase their interruptions of the female justices.’”
The Supreme Court isn't the only place where manterrupting occurs, of course.