Discrimination based on race affects millions of workers worldwide.
Just to mention a few:
- In Italy, 18% of employees report they’ve been subjected to racial discrimination (La Repubblica, 2015).
- In France, there are seven multinational companies with a strong suspicion of discrimination (Euronews, 2020).
- In Italy, again, only 5,6% of managers were born abroad (PMI, 2012).
- In the USA, job applicants with ‘black sounding names‘ receive 14% less call backs than ‘white sounding names’ (NPR, 2015).
Even if the law forbids discrimination in any aspect of employment: from hiring to firing and from pay tobenefits, racial and ethnic divisions often exist in the workplace.
How can Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Workplace be a benefit to the company?
Organizations, workers and employers should actively promote and value ethnic diversity in the workplace to unleash innovation and create a culture where everyone has equal opportunity based on their contribution to the company.
To avoid prejudice and stereotypes, companies need to outline the benefits of a racial and ethnically diverse workplace, such as:
- Higher efficiency and productivity
- Greater flexibility and adaptability
- Higher inclusion and engagement of workers
- More social cohesion with better collaboration
- Improved company reputation
Companies need to understand both the social and cultural complexities inherent in embracing diversity and strive to create Inclusive Leaders able to accelerate DE&I strategies.
How to introduce Racial and Ethnic Diversity Initiatives
Creating policies on ethnic diversity is one of the first steps towards demonstrating that the company takes seriously the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of equality in the workplace.
One of the first things to reduce bias and promote ethnic diversity is to keep the interviewing and selection process as race-blind as possible. This could be supported by formalized processes like removing names from CVs.
Again, is important to constantly revamp DE&I programs in structured ways:
- Identify the purpose of the DE&I strategy
- Prepare for an ethnic and diversity audit
- Choose the policy your company needs
- Introduce ethnic diversity initiatives through change management