Drum Roll Please…………. This is a BONUS post to the Blog Series I just wrapped. It is from someone I really admire. Paul Smith is a HR Professional from Philadelphia, PA. Paul messaged me about submitting a guest post about a topic that is so important to HR and Paul. I was honored to be asked, and I was thrilled to include it. He has 10+ years of experience. He is a music enthusiast, bicycle advocate, and host of the HR blog “Welcome to the Occupation”. Paul can be contacted through: http://twitter.com/pasmuz AND or http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulsmithphr I met Paul first at an HR event in DC, and again at HREvolution in Chicago, IL. It was a pleasure to meet such a kind and generous person. I look forward to a continued friendship.
Without further adieu. Here is the post:
The use of the word diversity has been a great concept. Many people, over the course of many years, have taken exception to those who are of a different gender, race, religion, color, sexual orientation, age, etc. To curtail these exceptions, the workplace has been provided with legal guidelines and restrictions through various civil rights legislation and concepts such as affirmative action. Despite the legal ramifications, people don’t change their minds overnight about their prejudices . Change comes from within. But to swallow that change, requires a less than bitter pill. Thus along comes the word diversity.
Diversity is a word that means different. Everyone is different. No two people are alike. And everyone believes that. Or at least I believe that everyone wants to believe that. So what better way to tackle prejudice than to appeal to the population’s sense for personal autonomy and uniqueness?
Yet let’s not break out the lawn chairs and watch the parade march through town quite so quick. There is still a great deal of prejudice in the workplace and a great deal of work to be done to equalize the perceived differences. If you are in HR, you know it’s a problem. If you’re new to HR, or if you’ve been doing this for a while and you need to improve the state of diversity in your workplace, consider this:
Appoint an EEO officer in your HR office
Make sure your policy and procedures cover every aspect of protected classes, including genetic information. Go to the Department of Labor’s website.
Train your managers and remind them, when they have choices to make to be sure those choices are based only on job related criteria.
Remember even though everyone is different, they still deserve equal treatment, even the people who are exhibiting traits of prejudice.
Let’s get the comments started… What are YOUR thoughts on Diversity? And how does it affect your personal/professional world?