Diversity and Inclusion in a Remote Workforce

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Consider the Ways Remote Work Promotes Diversity and Inclusion

A diverse and equitable workforce does not happen by accident. This kind of flourishing workplace culture occurs through careful policy development, management that fosters inclusion, and a company-wide attitude that values the distinctive contributions of each team member. Creating an inclusive workplace culture has been a strategic goal for many organizations. There are many guides, coaches, and techniques that have helped leaders in traditional workplaces move towards this identified outcome. However, the question of diversity in a remote workforce remains. Can the same strategies that have served in traditional workplaces be applied to hybrid and fully remote scenarios? What do managers and other leaders need to know about diversity, equity, and inclusion in modern remote workplaces?

Remote Work Can Promote Inclusion and Diversity

By its very nature, remote work can promote diversity and inclusion. To start with, talent can be drawn from a much wider geographic area, giving opportunities to people from many more regional backgrounds. Bringing together the perspectives of people living in many different locations can add nuance to teams as well as cultivating a surprising range of talent and experience. Remote work closes the geographic gap between urban, suburban, and rural regions, expanding your talent pool by magnitudes. Your organization can even access international talent. Major business and educational centers across the globe are hotbeds of talent that have yet to be fully leveraged by various sectors. Employers also see better recruitment as a result of offering remote work options. Today’s employees are increasingly looking for a more flexible way to work; top talent in particular is becoming choosier. Creating a candidate pool from the best talent from every region is advantageous for any organization.Bringing a variety of people together from different backgrounds is one way to promote a culture of diversity within your organization. Different perspectives, life experiences, abilities, and backgrounds are valuable because these viewpoints allow a fresh look at problem-solving while also creating a rich and vibrant workplace environment.

Raising the Equity Standard

Although improvement has been seen, there is still a long way to go before men and women see equal representation in the workforce; financial disparities still exist which contribute to economic depression in numerous areas. Remote work gives many women the freedom to care for children without the added burden of a commute or having to arrange for expensive childcare during the work day. This is one way that remote work helps bring gender equality to the workplace.People with a range of disabilities experience inequitable conditions in many workplaces. Buildings may provide inadequate or inappropriate accommodation for mobility devices, or public transit options may not offer the correct services to convey an employee to their job. Remote work options give disabled workers the dignity of employment and the ability to economically sustain themselves while adding their valuable skills to a team. In fact, remote work options are becoming increasingly essential for disabled people; companies committed to the goal of inclusion should consider the benefits that remote working offer to this population in particular.

What Customers Expect

The issue of diversity does not just affect the internal workings of an organization. A rising tide of consumers – especially those born since the 1990s – are making their opinions known with their spending habits; they care about seeing diversity meaningfully represented in advertising and by the companies they shop with. Being able to clearly demonstrate that inclusion and diversity are values that your organization holds and implements will send a strong signal to these spenders that you share their ideals. You can firmly state that diversity is more than just a buzzword – it’s a standard you hold your organization to. More than that, it’s a principle you care about.

Creating Change from Within

Recognizing that diversity, equity, and inclusion are important for a workplace is only the beginning. Understanding why these priorities are valuable and the tangible contributions they make to the entirety of an organization is also essential. Having clear workplace policies that comply with employment law is a good first step. Take the next by considering ways to implement remote working options within your organization. This is a strong way to move towards addressing the workplace equity issues facing the business leaders of today.

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