On June 15, 2020, the supreme court ruled it illegal to fire gay and/or transgendered workers based on Title VII which makes it “unlawful . . . for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual . . . because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Along with the racial riots of the past months, there is intense scrutiny on firms' policies and stance on diversity and inclusion.
So what does this mean for employers? Who’s watching? Why should I act? We don’t have all the answers, but we do have a good idea of what will be expected of firms.
It means prepping your HR and staff for change. Make sure you have a clear and concise message to convey to your team on the firm's position on equality, diversity, and inclusion. Provide training to management who have a direct impact on your companies brand. Review your employee handbook, annual training materials, orientation program, and benefits. Do they convey a consistent message?
Create programs and networks that provide a safe supportive environment for your staff. Find ways to celebrate differences, family, and culture throughout the year. Make sure advertisements, marketing materials, and posts are fully vetted by a team of diverse staff before they are presented to the general public. Hone in on what matters most to staff, leadership, and your consumers with regular polling and evaluation. Times are changing and needs change with them. Make sure your firm is keeping pace.
Hopefully, by now this all seems manageable. You have a plan in place and a team backing you 100%. During these tumultuous times, the entire world is watching and your consumers and staff are holding you accountable for the representation and support you provide to those underrepresented, oppressed, and left out. A new era of workers are coming, demanding inclusivity, sustainability, and accountability from their employers. Your current staff are watching to see how quickly you respond to the concerns and evolutions of the work experience. Be ready and be aware. Your productivity, employee retention, and bottom line may depend on it!