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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

April Diversity

Belonging:  We can’t become our best selves without feeling like we belong to a tribe that sees us, respects us and lifts us up. 

National Stress Awareness Month

April is National Stress Awareness Month.  Providing access to professional counseling, by way of an employee assistance program (EAP), can be an enormous help to employees experiencing stress within the workplace.  Employers could set up awareness programs to help educate their employees on techniques to help manage stress.  Some techniques could be exercise, relaxation, sleep & rest, eat well, visit a doctor, go have fun, and/or use their paid time off.  

National Financial Capability Month

Originally designated as National Financial Literacy Month in 2004, this observance has evolved to focus on financial literacy and ensure that Americans have access to unbiased and trustworthy financial education and understanding of financial services and products.  This observance also includes raising awareness of consumer protection laws as well as consumer education, helping Americans recognize, avoid, and report frauds and scams.  Financial Capability is about understanding and assessing your situation, including your beliefs and feelings about money.  It’s also about processing knowledge and information, evaluating options, making informed decisions, and taking action.  The more informed you are about your financial choices, the better your financial outcomes are likely to be. Finally, check your credit.  Reviewing your credit report will also help to guard against identity theft. 

April 2: World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day is an opportunity to understand how those with autism can improve their lives. If you don’t have a loved one with an autism diagnosis, you may not have a strong understanding of how the world may be challenging for these individuals. In office buildings around the country, there is much work to be done in promoting greater understanding towards employees who have children with autism or other developmental disabilities.  With increased awareness and technology, there are cost-effective ways for employers to help such employees remain focused and productive.  There is much hope to be shared and employers can play a pivotal role in ensuring that parents are receiving meaningful support.  Finally, employers must make it clear that autistic employees are welcome in the workplace, and that having these individuals on staff adds to the “neurodiversity paradigm.”

April 10: International Day of Pink 

This worldwide awareness day hopes to educate the general public on the harmful effects of discrimination, bullying, and homophobia in the world. Wear pink to show solidarity with the commitment to promote a safe and inclusive world for all.

April 15: Deadline for filing federal tax returns

Employers could partner with a local tax firm or a bank and offer employees a discount to get their taxes done professionally. There are banks and other organizations that offer free tax help through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  This is usually help to individuals who file simple returns and generally make $60,000/year or less.  This program is also available to persons with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers who may need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. 

April 22: Passover

Passover is a major Jewish festival that celebrates the freeing of the Israeli slaves. 

April 22: Earth Day

Earth Day is a tremendous opportunity to educate your community about ways to take climate action at work, raise awareness about your sustainability achievements, and get buy-in from every level of your corporate hierarchy to reach your sustainability and zero waste goals.  “Invest in Our Planet!”

April 26: Administrative Professionals Day

Employers have an opportunity to recognize and reward clerical and administrative professionals for their devoted, valued work.  Simply saying Thank You could go a long way.     

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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