Are you tired of having to put on a mask when going to work? Does your place of work leave you feeling less than due to your race or gender? Well, you’re not alone, sis. 

Now more than ever major companies and corporations are adopting diversity and inclusion practices for the workplace. A study in the Human Resource Management Journal found that diverse companies have higher success rates at retaining talent. It shows that companies, where minority groups are equally represented, have lower turnover rates due to happier employees. 

However, despite the efforts, while many companies pride themselves in having diverse staff, the conversation around inclusion produces different results. A BuiltIn study found that 57% of employees think their companies should be more diverse. A Pew Research study found that 40% of people think there’s a double standard on hiring women. 

If you’re tired of feeling ignored, misunderstood, or completely invisible at your place of work, here are some tips to help you professionally advocate for inclusion. 

1. Know The Definition of Inclusion At The Workplace

Before trying to introduce the topic of inclusion at the workplace, you’ll want to educate yourself on what it means to be inclusive. Inclusion is defined as the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. 

When it comes to practicing inclusion in the workplace, the Institute for Community Inclusion provides strong definitions for all people, particularly people with disabilities, who are too often ignored or not represented in professional settings. 

When advocating for inclusion, it is important to remember that ALL people have the right to:

  • Be respected and appreciated as valuable members in their work communities
  • Participate in team activities as equally as others
  • Receive a competitive wage and have career opportunities that use their capacities to the fullest

2. Find Out the Federal Laws That Support Diversity & inclusion

There are many pieces of legislation on the federal and state level, as well as equal opportunity laws, that make it illegal to discriminate in the workplace. Looking into these laws will give you a better understanding of your rights along with the responsibilities of both employers and employees in the workplace that make both of them accountable. 

Use the Employment Laws website for more information on the federal and state laws that protect your inclusion at work. 

3 Get Familiar With the Research That Supports Inclusion at Work

There are also many terms and definitions associated with inclusion. Make use of all the resources available online that describe inclusion. Websites like Inclusion at Work and Ideal provide articles, tips, and resources that are beneficial to the social, academic, physical and emotional growth for everyone in the workplace.

4. Learn Your Employers History With Inclusive Education

Has your employer taken steps to make their team more diverse? What are some practices your employer has introduced to make the work environment more inclusive? Are there groups you could join or activities you could take part in that help improve the team’s inclusion efforts? 

A sit down with a member of your HR department can often answer those questions and prepare you for future conversations on inclusion.

5. Have A Few Inclusive Resources on Hand to Share With Team Members 

Make use of the valuable resources you find online by printing out handouts, books, or saving videos or photos that you can bring with you when speaking to different team members about inclusion. Educause has some useful resources guides on diversity and inclusion at work.

Summary

You have the right to feel represented at work, sis. Don’t let any doubt prevent you from advocating for your inclusion at work. Your bold move could help your future with the company and so many others. Take time to do your research, use the above tips, and maintain your poise and class when speaking to your HR reps and managers about adopting a more inclusive work culture. 


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career and entreprenuershipdiversity and inclusionwork culture