A good inclusion strategy should entail support. Usually, companies want to include minorities in an homogeneous group. The homogeneous group is usually made of men and the minorities are either women or people from a different ethnicity. There is a need of adaptation for all employees who will need some kind of support to go through the transition. Let’s imagine for a minute that each group is a primary color. Your aim as a company is to use all colors you have in order to create a more colorful picture. You can either mix colors together or let them separated which will only let you with the three primary colors that we know. Alone they are blue, red, and yellow and if you start to mix them thousands of colors can be created or they can be used to make each other more visible. You have more options. Your work as a leader is to make sure that the mixing takes place and correspond to your goals. You have to support the colors to make sure that the mixing does not ends up into chaos.
We have a tendency to expect that the minority changes and adapts to the majority codes of conducts, beliefs, expectations and so on. Basically, we ask them to change their colors away. This is a desire of integration, not of inclusion. Integration means people must change themselves to be accepted. They must become red even if they are definitely yellow. Some women must have behaved like men earlier in order to go forward for example . This is a denial of our differences and richness. Inclusion allows everyone to keep his color and mix his colorful ideas, competences and experience with the one of others making the everything richer and more adaptable to a multicolored world.
A. A definition of support
B. How to create a support strategy my your company?
5 Steps to support your employees defined as “diverse”
- Acknowledge the need of a support strategy (racism and sexism issues for example, handicapped people also face problems)
- Find out what the people in the minority experience
- Work on rules of do’s and don’ts (list behavior that you will not tolerate and indicate the punishment)
- Create a specific role to collect and work on complains
- Review the level of inclusion regularly.