Diversity And Inclusion: Would Data Stop You From Accepting A Job?
"Not seeing many people that looked like myself made me reluctant to speak up when necessary."
January 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm
Diversity and inclusion has become a hot topic, especially in the creative industry. I now begin to ask myself, if I had the opportunity to work for a major brand, would the lack of diversity within the business influence my decision? I asked myself this question when I came across a tweet celebrating an upcoming business named Driverse. This start-up's goal is to present the public with how minority employees perceive their employers to be. Until the effects of poor diversity and inclusion are truly understood, I doubt many would think twice about accepting an offer from a major firm.
When I left university, diversity and inclusion was not something I really thought about; it was a topic I was introduced to. I would be lying if I said it did not subconsciously impact my behavior in the workplace. Before I began working in the corporate world, I always saw myself being a leader. I never associated my gender with my aspirations until I began working in an office. Looking back, my confidence and determination to become a part of leadership slowly deteriorated. For a long time, I was not surrounded by women in leadership, which made me assume that women were less likely to be successful in such roles. As silly as it sounds, I was fresh out of university and was limiting my capabilities based on what I could see around me. Now that I understand the effects, will the figures presented impact whether I apply to work for a business that isn't yet diverse or inclusive?
Being a female was one thing, being a minority was another. I often found it difficult to express myself freely, as I was afraid to be labeled as the angry black girl. Not seeing many people that looked like myself made me reluctant to speak up when necessary. In most situations, this went as far as affecting my performance. Looking back, I often felt oppressed before voicing my opinion, and years later, I finally understood that I was fearful of microaggressions. I did not want to hinder my success by being outspoken, as I had once noticed my passion was not always interpreted as positive. As crazy as it sounds, I also did not want to let my family down. Imagine if I came back home to explain how I was dismissed for being "aggressive, rude and feisty."
Being presented with the figures is insightful, and can often be a difficult pill for major brands to swallow. The power of data should arguably prompt businesses to assess their diversity and inclusion initiatives. This will not only help businesses, but also provide minorities with a snapshot of the working environment. However, until an individual understands the full effects of discrimination, prejudice and ignorant comments, will they stop and think before they sign the dotted line?