For becoming a D&I champion, we need to first understand what it means to be a champion. In the context of Diversity and Inclusion, a champion is a person who defends or fights for a cause- the cause of Diversity and Inclusion.
Next, we also need to understand the meaning of Diversity and Inclusion. Let’s take the word Diversity, in this context, means respect for and appreciation of differences in gender, ethnicity, age, disability, national orientation, sexual orientation, religion and education. This is a challenge that human race has been facing from a very long time. So, this has always really been difficult.
The important part of Diversity and Inclusion is the Inclusion bit. In practice, Inclusion means a decision, which is usually made for you, share resources- jobs, for instance. It also means working and living together, which might bring up some undesirable effects like:
- Having to stand other people’s believes and costumes
- Having to accept that those other people might not stand your believes and costumes
We should consider Diversity and Inclusion in our organization as it provides many advantages to the organization. You do not have to be best friends with workers who are very different from you. But you should be able to work well together.
We should always have this in mind that, working in a multicultural environment has been good for the organization from a very long time, especially when it comes to openness, creativity and adaptability.
Becoming a Diversity and Inclusion champion has become essential for HR professionals in general and HR leaders. Despite all the benefits from Diversity and Inclusion, there are major challenges to solve – many of which is related to HR members personal biases and preferences. Recruiters might face personal dilemma when it comes to hiring candidates who many need special attention in case of Diversity and Inclusion.
HR professionals can take the following steps to overcome their own biases regarding candidates who require special attention in terms of Diversity and Inclusion:
- Do not avoid acknowledging and accepting your own personal preferences, feelings, biases to those were different than you.
- Take a decision to follow a constructive path – a set of positive actions for your attitude. You may not have control on what you feel, but you do have control on what you do and how you do it.
- Be open and change your perspective towards those who are different than you. Also remember that changing your perspective towards those who are different than you might not happen overnight. But dealing with different people of different cultures might help you build a constructive attitude to acknowledge their ideas and even learn from them.
Remember that it is not just HR personnel’s responsibility rather every employee’s responsibility to make the organization Inclusive of Diversity for every employee working in it. Everyone should try to be a champion in Diversity and Inclusion so that it helps the organization to perform better.