With workplace inclusion and diversity, the gaps between perception and reality can be vast. While collecting solid data about your organization’s diversity is a great place to start the conversation and to help flag systemic gaps, there are other ways to measure positive steps forward that encourage vulnerable conversations and go beyond demographic head counts.
At ATB Financial, a financial institution operating across the Canadian province of Alberta with over 5,000 employees, the inclusion and diversity journey has been ongoing since 2015, when we launched our first intensive and award-winning organization-wide diversity and inclusion campaign. While each organization requires a unique communication plan that will function with their culture, there are a number of transferable themes that will help any communicator ignite informative, actionable and measurable conversations about an often intimidating topic.
Let the data speak for itself and focus on inclusion
While it may be tempting to qualify how your demographic data should be interpreted, especially when there are major gaps, it’s best to resist the urge to over-explain and let the numbers speak for themselves. By avoiding qualitative language and punctuation such as, “just,” “only,” and exclamation marks, you remove the bias from being built into your messaging. Trust that your audience will understand and begin to question numbers that don’t add up.
For example, in 2015, ATB produced five pamphlets that outlined five demographic areas of concern based on our annual engagement survey data: LGBTQ people, indigenous people, people with disabilities, women in leadership, and visible minorities in leadership. The employee data on most of these groups was cause for concern either because our employee population was not representative of the employable Alberta market or their representation in leadership was not representative of ATB’s total employee population for that group....
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