How to promote an intentional and genuine culture of diversity and inclusion in companies
Attracting diverse talents and promoting an inclusive work environment has never been so crucial for any organization seeking success in today’s globalized economy. Although progress has been made recently, achieving this goal is a continuous and complex challenge, with no single solution. This has led the Latin American Public Relations company, Latam Intersect PR, to list some tips on how Latin American companies can effectively promote diversity and inclusion.
“As a public relations firm that is proudly diverse, internationally focussed, and Latin American to our core, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share some tips from our newly appointed Head of DEI & Environmental Communications, Carolina Proaño Wexman, on how to create, promote and retain a diverse workforce in Latin America,” comments Claudia Daré, Founder and Managing Director at Latam Intersect PR.
Carolina, who recently won a Premio UNICEF-CELAP de Periodismo sobre niñez y adolescencia (UNICEF-CELAP 2022 Journalism Award for her work on Children and Adolescents) is keen to point out that the sheer diversity of cultures in Latin America means that companies must be sensitive to local differences, rather than trying to adopt arbitrary standards. “A diverse team in Mexico will look a lot different from a diverse team in Brazil,” she explains. “There is such a variety of demographics across this continent, and within each country, that it is important for companies at first to really think about what their identity should be.”
“Diversity also doesn’t just mean gender and race,” she continues. “It must include disability, age – especially as a response to etarism – social background, and other even more ‘invisible’ minorities such as those who are neurodivergent.”
“A properly thought out and implemented policy of diversity and inclusion is also better for companies in the long-run, as the recent McKinsey survey showed that Latin American companies with higher rates of gender diversity perform 1.9 times better than companies that are less gender diverse,” Carolina continues. “However, there are still plenty of challenges that organizations face with such a fast-moving and sensitive topic.”
To address these challenges, Carolina has compiled the following tips:
- Define and communicate a clear diversity and inclusion policy: Organizations need to have a clear policy that defines diversity and inclusion and outlines their commitment to creating a safe, healthy, and inclusive workplace. This policy should be communicated to all employees and should include specific goals and objectives that demonstrate the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- Eliminate biases in the hiring process: Organizations need to review their hiring processes to identify and eliminate any biases that may exist. This can include using structured interviews, creating diverse hiring panels, and implementing blind resume reviews.
- Offer support and resources for diverse employees: Organizations should provide resources and support to help diverse employees succeed in the workplace. This can include mentorship programs, employee resource groups, and access to training and development opportunities, as well as ample opportunities for flexible workspaces such as home office and hybrid.
- Create an inclusive workplace culture: Organizations need to create a culture of inclusion where all employees feel valued, respected, and supported. This can include celebrating diversity and cultural events, promoting open communication and collaboration, and addressing any incidents of discrimination or harassment.
- Regularly review and evaluate diversity and inclusion efforts: Organizations need to regularly review and evaluate their diversity and inclusion efforts to ensure they are making progress towards their goals. This can include conducting employee surveys, tracking diversity metrics, and gathering feedback from diverse employees.
“Creating a safe, healthy, and inclusive workplace is essential for attracting and retaining diverse talents,” Carolina concludes. “By implementing these aspects, organizations can create a workplace culture that supports diversity and inclusion, leading to better business outcomes and a more engaged workforce.