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How Embracing a Remote Workforce Increases Diversity and Inclusion

How Embracing a Remote Workforce Increases Diversity and Inclusion
Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 by Marcy Klipfel
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Diversity matters.

woman-working-from-home

In fact, latest research findings reinforce the link between diversity and company financial performance. With the call for diversity, inclusion and anti-racism on the rise, companies have slowly started to realize there’s a competitive advantage and a key enabler of growth behind supporting and maintaining a diverse workforce.

Current events bring up complex feelings for many but they also bring up many questions. Mainly, why is the push for diversity taking so long when diversity is clearly is good for business? The McKinsey report, Delivering through Diversity states, “Gender and ethnic diversity are clearly correlated with profitability, but women and minorities remain underrepresented.” Again, why are organizations falling behind in hiring a diverse workforce? One hurdle, overcoming location bias.

Location can be a key factor in the diversity of the workplace population. Many of the high-paying, lucrative jobs are in locations that have high living expenses which may exclude certain demographics. For example, the top 10 most expensive cities in the US include major tech and financial hubs like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington D.C. Despite many organizations push for more inclusive and diverse workforce populations, many people of color and women who are supporting a family may not have the means to move to these locations or afford to live in them.  

Enter, remote work. By creating a robust remote workforce whenever possible, organizations can tap into talent that may be outside of their headquarter’s location. Without the restriction of location, the talent pool opens up with more possibilities and can include previously excluded candidates creating more inclusive hiring practices. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  1. Adjust to culture add vs cultural fit. Instead of looking for candidates to “fit into the mold” look for candidates that can fit a gap in your workforce. Think about adding people who have new perspectives and backgrounds. When you are restricted to one location, this can prove more difficult.
  2. Focus on a culture built on belonging. Many organizations are worried about fostering a culture around a remote workforce. The current climate has produced many new ideas to fostering a strong remote culture. For example, team happy hours where work talk isn’t allowed and weekly check-in calls with leaders to make sure projects are moving forward and employees aren’t facing any roadblocks. At our company, we have a weekly Monday morning live video conference with our CEO and CSO where we get company updates, team goal insights and fun themed presentations.
  3. Go social. Many organizations, including ours, has focused more on building employee engagement on social media platforms. Yes, many employees would not feel comfortable merging work/life on social. Which is why you can use closed groups on Facebook and LinkedIn just for employees to interact with their colleagues and peers. It’s a fun way to stay engaged and feel connected.

For more insights into how diversity and inclusion impacts the bottom line, check out our white paper below.

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