Why Workplace Cultural Change Will Drive Greater Diversity and Inclusion
The culture of the workplace is constantly changing. In the pre-modern era, it would be common to find an entire family working together in a business, with living spaces in the same building. A few decades ago, Mad Men tells us office workers wore full suits to work but wouldn't bat an eye about drinking over lunch or in the office. Rigid hierarchies have given way to flatter organizational structures, greater flexibility over when and where to work, and less formality.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for work culture. And that's just what Gwen Moran is attempting to predict in a recent article for Fast Company. Moran makes five predictions for how workplace culture will be different by the year 2030, but one in particular stuck out to us: "Teams Will Be More Inclusive and Diverse than Ever."
"As a shortage of knowledge workers forces organizations to cast a wider net for talent, tapping new regions or underutilized demographic segments, cultures will need to focus on inclusion to create harmonious, productive work environments," Moran argues. "Teams may be more far-flung, have different backgrounds, and have varied communication preferences."
That directly supports the bottom-line driven business focus that is foundational to our work.
For her article, Moran interviewed PwC chief people officer Mike Fenlon, who sees technology as another driving force toward more I&D (inclusion and diversity). Fenlon points out that technological solutions will help promote I&D by facilitating greater collaboration across time zones and providing accommodations for people with disabilities.
Additionally, he believes technology will help people conquer their own biases. "Fenlon recently participated in CEO Action’s Check Your Blind Spots unconscious bias bus tour," says Moran. "Using virtual reality, gamification, and other tools, various exercises challenge user biases by encouraging them to think differently." Fenlon notes that few people believe they are biased, but when they are in a situation where they see their own reactions, they can identify hidden biases and figure out how to improve.
Our work with organizational leaders helps them to identify and overcome unconscious bias.
We believe businesses are increasingly coming to understand the business justification for promoting diversity and inclusion. But it's interesting to also consider the factors that may drive I&D as a matter of course, regardless of any explicit efforts.
OUR NEW BOOK HAS BEEN RELEASED!
In Inclusion: STILL the Competitive Business Advantage, we continue our contributions to thought leadership on the importance of inclusion in an environment that has been roiled with new discussion—and new dissent—amid rapidly changing demographics, continually emerging technology and a global economy that is continually shifting to favor newly emerging market powerhouses. We're very gratified by the positive reviews already pouring in.