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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

a large diverse group of business people

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

December Diversity

Every day is a great time to change the world – and create greater equity and inclusion – with a small act of kindness or celebration of diversity.  

National Learn a Foreign Language Month 

Learning another language comes with a wealth of benefits.  That’s why December is National Learn a Foreign Language Month.  Learning a new language provides a boost to our brains by improving memory, creativity, attention span, and reducing cognitive decline.  It improves our understanding of our native language.  Our understanding of other cultures improve. Job opportunities improve.  Our confidence improves and our travel in other countries is easier where the new language is spoken. 

December 1: World AIDS Day

This day helps raise awareness for HIV/AIDs. Hold a fundraiser in your office to help fight the HIV epidemic and raise money to find a cure. You can also pass out red ribbons. These are the universal symbol of support for those living with HIV/AIDs. Stigma and discrimination remain a reality for people living with the condition.  Together, we can stop HIV from standing in the way of health, dignity and equality. 

December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

All people, regardless of ability, deserve to be treated with dignity and given rights. The United Nations created the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 1992 to help people with disabilities participate without any barriers. Spend this day evaluating your workplace. Is it truly accessible to all? Ask your staff and see if they have any feedback they can provide on the topic!

December 7: Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

December 7, 1941 is a day that will live in infamy.  Japanese fighter planes attacked US Naval ships ultimately leading to a total of 2,403 deaths, both civilian and military, and causing the involvement of the US into World War II.  This led to a period of national unity, an end of American isolationism, and the beginning of the “superpower” status of the United States.  After four years of fighting in WWII, the United States played a leading role in the creation of the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), ensuring their continued presence on the world’s stage.  

December 10: International Human Rights Day (United Nations)

The UN established International Human Rights Day in 1948 following World War II. It uses the United States’ Bill of Rights as a model. 

December 16 to December 24: Las Posadas

The religious festival of Las Posadas is primarily celebrated in Latin American countries, Mexico, and Spain. Some Hispanics in the United States also celebrate this festival. The festival is a reenactment of Mary and Joseph traveling to various homes in the community that are designated as “inns.” After the reenactment, there is a celebration.

December 18 to December 26: Hanukkah

This is an 8-day, 8-night celebration in the Jewish faith honoring the triumph of their ancestors over the Syrian Greeks. To see the “Festival of Lights” observed, ask to join in a night of celebrations with a Jewish friend’s family.

December 21: Winter Solstice/Yule

The Winter Solstice is known as Yule to those practicing the Pagan and Wiccan faiths. The day marks the longest night of the year and the return of the sun. You can celebrate Yule by lighting a Yule log, making an evergreen wreath, having a nature-based treat, and decluttering your space.

December 25: Christmas

This is one of the most important Christian holidays that celebrates the birth of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is also of cultural importance to those who do not actively practice the Christian faith.

December 26: Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an 8-day celebration of life that is inspired by the African harvest celebrations. The holiday was created by an American professor of African studies, activist, and author, Maulana Karenga. It has been celebrated since the 1960s.

December 31: New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is one of the largest global celebrations because it marks the last day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, December 31, before the New Year.  It’s a symbol for starting over or for meaningful change that will keep you motivated for the months to come.  Count down to the New Year no matter where you are in the world. 

Find more Diversity and Inclusion resources here.

Final Thoughts

Every day is a great time to change the world – and create greater equity and inclusion – with a small act of kindness or celebration of diversity.

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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