Creating a workplace that embraces diversity begins with a vision of an inclusive corporate culture. Emma Smith, Reporting and Communications Associate at Devex, cites three ways positive leadership and human resources practices can impact the diversity and inclusion of a workforce.
· Lead by example – Corporate attitudes are created and directly influenced by those in leadership positions. Changing the corporate culture and setting new standards on hiring and working practices for people with disabilities can have a marked effect on all employees. Leaders should establish equality and inclusion ideas and set hiring goals on their Human Resources department, as well as inclusive selection, training, and promotion standards.
· Take a proactive approach to recruiting diverse talent – More than merely installing ramps and accessible washrooms, employers should rethink their recruitment policies according to Mosharraf Hossain, Director of Global Policy, influencing and research of ADD International, who reminds us that having a fully accessible space is wasted if the recruitment policies are not rewritten to encompass hiring people with disabilities.
· Go the extra mile – Human resources personnel are invariably a pivotal part of the selection and hiring process. That being so, they can also influence the candidate’s first impression of the employer. Small gestures, such as printing business cards in Braille can be a huge step in engaging with candidates who are visually impaired, similarly, recruiting an American Sign Language interpreter available for interviews for candidates who are deaf can go a long way in ensuring corporations are inclusive of all potential employees.
For more information on how Human Resources leaders can build more inclusive workplaces, click here.