Diversity in the corporate context: how it can work

HDI Group ,

Imagine if only clones worked in the entire company. Every function would be performed by a clone with exactly the same knowledge, the same ideas and the same skills. - A horror scenario, isn't it? - If we don't work together with our different skills and perspectives, it won't work.

What is diversity?

Diversity means variety. In the corporate context, we use diversity when we talk about society or a group of people. . Diversity is characterised by various attributes, such as age, gender, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical and mental abilities and social background. A person usually has several diversity characteristics.

We can only influence many of these characteristics to a limited extent or not at all - for example, we cannot change our age. However, we can influence our gender or gender identity. However, our birth gender - i.e. the gender we were born with - remains the same.

Deep dive into the topic of "diversity"

How to get diversity right?

From target image to concrete measures:
To actively anchor Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) in the company, you need a target image. Ask yourself the question: Where is the company now and where does it want to go? Once you have defined the target picture, you need to think about what measures you can take to get there and how long it will take you to get there. This is the art of planning correctly. It usually takes time to anchor DE&I in the company and a lot doesn't always help a lot. It's best to think specifically about what you can do in the next year to get closer to the target and break down the measures into quarters. Here you can also use classic project management approaches such as the OKR method or a milestone plan.

Concrete measures to get started:
Talk, talk, talk - Start by raising awareness of the topic.Allow controversial discussions, listen to both supporters and opponents.Develop a sense of where the "shoe pinches" in the organisation.You can also start with training courses such as Uncoias Bias.Emotionalise the topic - let people have their say who may have experienced disadvantages both privately and professionally due to their gender, skin colour or social background.Another lever to start with is goals.Here you should think specifically about which goals are realistic to achieve with the available resources. Time is also a key factor in determining whether a goal can be achieved. Goals should always be measurable. The SMART formula can help you here.

Clear expectation management:
Not everything will change overnight. Changes take time - both in people's mindsets and in the diversity of the people who work for a company. However, you have the opportunity to get the ball rolling and set the course for more diversity in the company.

To conclude: the basic principles you have read here can also be found at the Charta der Vielfalt e.V. and the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency. These are also valuable points of contact if you want to explore the topic in more depth.