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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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As Human Resource professionals, we have an important role in creating an environment where diversity is valued.

We are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the integration of diversity in our workplaces. By doing so, we will witness strengthened workplaces, enhanced employee productivity and reduced litigation risks.

The ARSHRM diversity program’s purpose is to affirm diversity awareness amongst its affiliated chapters and within the state of Arkansas. Each affiliate chapter is responsible for at least one diversity-oriented program per year.

Per the Society for Human Resource Management

“To celebrate diversity is to appreciate and value individual differences. SHRM strives to be the leader in promoting workplace diversity. Although the term is often used to refer to differences based on ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin and sexual orientation, diversity encompasses an infinite range of individuals’ unique characteristics and experiences, including communication styles, physical characteristics such as height and weight, speed of learning and comprehension.”

Diversity Equity and Inclusion News

Dealing with diversity in the workplace means understanding and relating effectively with people who are different from you. The ability for a diverse group of people to build strength and unity through their diversity is the power that propels organizations into new dimensions of performance. Discussions of workplace diversity tend to start with the topics of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Indeed, organizations that want to thrive in the future will need to have employees and managers who are aware of and skilled in dealing with differences along these identity lines.

Another slice of diversity that is not always included in typical diversity discussions, however, is generational diversity. In any large organization, you are bound to find divisions, units, or work teams where five distinct generations are working side by side. Important differences have been identified between these generations in the way they approach work, work/life balance, employee loyalty, authority, and other important issues. For those reasons, an individual’s age is one of the most common predictors of differences in attitudes and behaviors. Different communication styles and work habits can create misunderstandings between coworkers, leading to conflict and disengagement.

These tips will help to create common ground among generations, but organizations are encouraged to develop policies and programs that will help meet each generation’s unique needs and expectations.

Communicate appropriately, gearing messages for generational preferences. Create programs that encourage generations to work together and to share knowledge. Build diverse teams of all ages, genders, and cultures. These teams will learn to value and trust each other. Encourage leaders at all levels to be flexible in their management styles. Some generations want hands-off leaders, others want a more involved management style.

Articles: A collection of articles on diversity and inclusion topics from leading business publications such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company.

How to manage a multigeneration workforce
Communicating with a multigenerational workforce

Diversity & Inclusion Update

July Diversity

July 2: Thurgood Marshall’s Birthday

Thurgood Marshall was the nation’s first Black Supreme Court Justice. Last year, we celebrated his birthday with the first Black woman, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, on the court. These individuals are vital reminders of just how much representation matters. In addition to being a justice, Marshall was also a well-known civil rights activist.

July 3: National CROWN Day

When we think about diversity, equity and inclusion, we often forget how biases or perceptions of professionalism can apply to employee hairstyles. While there is currently no federal law prohibiting hairstyle discrimination, several states and localities have passed related laws. National CROWN Day is the commemoration of the inaugural signing of the first CROWN Act legislation in the U.S. in 2019 to “create a respectful and open world for natural hair.”

July 4: Independence Day

From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.  However, it did not become a federal holiday until 1941.  The Declaration of Independence states: “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In America we are afforded freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.  Hopefully, the work we do as diversity, equity and inclusion professionals ensures that America really is a land of opportunity for ALL. 

July 6: Dalai Lama’s Birthday

Happy birthday to the 14th Dalai Lama, the most famous Buddhist teacher in the world. The Dalai Lama is widely respected for his commitment to both nonviolence and Tibetan freedom. He was awarded the 1989 peace prize for advocating for solutions based on tolerance and mutual respect. Despite being exiled from Tibet, he has continually sought to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people.

July 7: The Hajj

Our July diversity month includes The Hajj, an annual pilgrimage and one of the pillars of Islam. All able-bodied Muslims are required to undertake the journey to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. Once in Mecca, all Muslims perform a series of rituals.  

July 18: Nelson Mandela’s Birthday

On this day, we celebrate the birth of the South African civil rights leader. He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993. He then served as the country’s first Black president from 1994 to 1999, leading the country’s transition from apartheid to multiracial democracy. Mandela demonstrated that all people can make a positive impact on the world through small acts of kindness. Consider spending this day volunteering for a local cause. And celebrate Mandela’s legacy by fostering greater racial inclusion with diversity training.  

July 21: National Ice Cream Day

Cool down this summer and enjoy the nation’s favorite frozen treat with friends, family, and co-workers.  In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. Ice cream companies help support the US economy, contributing more than $13 billion directly to the national economy and supporting nearly 29,000 direct jobs that generate $1.8 billion in direct wages, according to International Dairy Foods Association’s Dairy Delivers.   

July 24: International Self-Care Day

This day puts the spotlight on encouraging people to make a personal commitment to embrace self-care and make it a priority.  Self-care is the cornerstone of wellness.  Take control of your health and wellness.  Practice self-care, even if all you do is take a walk or take some time to meditate. The benefits of self-care last a lifetime and are not limited to a single day.  You’ll always be needed by people around you but most importantly, you are needed by you. 

July 25: National Intern Appreciation Day

On the final Thursday of July, most employers in the United States take some time out to promote the value of internships as a springboard for young people joining their chosen areas.  This observance honors the hard work, accomplishments and unique views of interns everywhere. Internships provide interns with real-world experience and the opportunity to learn and grow within their field.   

July 25: Pioneer Day

Pioneer Day, a July multicultural holiday, is associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church) as well as a Utah State holiday. It officially marks the date when LDS church founder Brigham Young arrived in the Salt Lake area. To celebrate, most people take the day off, watch fireworks, walk the Mormon Trail, go to picnics, etc.

July 26: Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. This civil rights law made it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in areas like employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and access to state and local government programs/services.  Celebrate the anniversary of the ADA by conducting in-house training to increase sensitivity for people with disabilities. Or review physical or architectural barriers in your workplace, and ensure your website and other digital assets are compliant for people with visual and other impairments. This day is also known as National Disability Independence Day. 

Final Thoughts

A great way for an employer to show support for any one of these celebrations is to partner with a local nonprofit or community event and give your employees an opportunity to volunteer and represent your company. Community service is a fun way to give back while team building and keeping the employees engaged.

Find more Diversity and Inclusion resources here.

Quick Resources

Diversity Best Practices

A leading diversity and inclusion membership organization that provides research, tools, and resources to help organizations create inclusive workplaces.

The Society for Diversity

An organization that promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace through training, certification, and research.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resource Hub

A comprehensive resource hub from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation that includes research, case studies, and best practices for creating a more inclusive workplace.

Diversity and Inclusion Training Courses

A selection of online courses on diversity and inclusion topics from providers such as LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera.

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