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Diversity In The Workplace

With Pride Month now over, we’d like to take time to reflect on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We sat down with Jeremy, our talented visual designer and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, to discuss the importance of supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, not just during Pride Month, but every day of the year.

Celebrate Pride Month

Pride means so much more than just rainbows and parades. It’s about celebrating an individual’s right to freely express themselves wherever they may be — including the workplace.

We sat down with Jeremy to discuss diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Keep reading to learn more about what it truly means to be inclusive in the workplace and how leadership and HR can make an impact.

Has your expression of your identity contributed to an overall workplace culture?

Yes, albeit slowly but surely. I think that since I’ve joined this company, I’ve witnessed a change in our collective energy. We are more conscious of what we bring to the table, and how our identities manifest themselves in the way that we work together.

Where do you see corporations championing inclusion while also maintaining authenticity?

I think we are already starting to see that as previously-marginalized communities gain more visibility. While it is great to see companies attempt to engage in shaping the discourse, we have to be careful about the corporatization of these movements. For example, I know quite a few queer folks of color are concerned about Pride morphing into one large sponsored party and forgetting its history as both celebration AND protest. I think corporations need to understand that, when it comes to these movements, it is important to be cognizant of the space that they are occupying and how that might affect the folks who were there the whole time. Listen to the community. Be humble and reverent.

How can leadership make an impact?

It’s 2018. Leadership has a DUTY to educate themselves or at least put themselves in a position to learn from their employees about issues concerning diversity and inclusion. But it also doesn’t stop there. Leadership must realize that these conversations are democratic, and they are responsible for continuously and consistently checking in with staff to ensure that they are implementing policies that are truly inclusive.

How do you think it impacts HR?

I think what we’re seeing now is a new interpretation of HR. On top of their regular responsibilities, HR professionals must also adopt a new role: the facilitator. With the transfusion of identity politics into the workplace, it becomes imperative to develop a company environment that can harmonize and celebrate all of these personalities. It becomes less about management and more about collaboration.

Do you think it is becoming more important to job applicants? Was it important to you?

I think that this is very important for job applicants. Most folks are now seeking positions at companies that try to align with their personal values. For me, I wanted to work at a place that would help foster my growth by allowing me to confidently express myself…and I’m very lucky to have discovered that.

What can HR do to create a culture in the work place that supports diversity and inclusion?

Not only do HR professionals have to adopt a new vocabulary (ex. non-binary, trans, PoC, etc.), but they also have to learn about all of the history that is tethered to these terms. Also, they have to cultivate a culture of openness that gives everyone a platform to educate their colleagues about things that are important to them. I guess it becomes less about humans as resources and more about extracting human resourcefulness.

Here at HR Cloud we are proud to provide a workplace where everyone is free to express themselves. We support all the different personalities that make up our team regardless of their sexual identities. With Pride Month coming to an end, it’s time for businesses to reflect on what this celebration means and how they can make an impact.

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