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  • Writer's pictureDiego Tomasino

Come Out! 2024 - The 5 key diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) trends for this year

Hello my people!!


First of all, I hope you have started this new year very well, and that 2024 finds you with a lot of energy, health, self-love and, above all, with the desire to continue building worlds without closets. 🚪🌈


As usual, January is the month to share the 5 key Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) trends of the year.  What should companies focus their efforts on to create more inclusive workspaces?


Last year there was a lot of focus on conducting year-round training, empowering Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), strengthening allies, managing accessibility in remote work, and show a coherent DEI strategy, associated with the company's values and well communicated. Let's see if these trends continue for 2024.


But before entering each one I wanted to remind you that diversity and inclusion can be celebrated all year round. That's why on my website you can download the ComeOut! Calendar with all the important dates for this year. https://bit.ly/ComeOut2024Calendar

 

1-  Evolution of the Remote Workforce


The remote work model is no longer just an option, but a fundamental part of the work structure. Leaders must find innovative ways to overcome these gaps, offering solutions to the challenges presented by a decentralized work model.


Although 16% of companies in the world are 100% remote, many companies have returned to 100% in-person work. However, this does not stop its staff from looking for more flexible options, which is causing turnover rates to average 30%.


Remote work favors greater conciliation for groups with travel problems and physical limitations, and in turn favors diversity by eliminating geographical barriers. Companies that focus on inclusion foster diverse teams that bring unique perspectives and creativity to the table.


 2- Fluid and Multigenerational Workforce


Today's workforce still spans five generations, each bringing unique expectations, skills and experiences.


At the same time, the sexual orientations and gender identities of these generations must be considered. For example, currently one in 5 people considers themselves part of the LGBTQ community , of which on average 13% consider themselves non-binary or trans. According to a Gallup poll, the percentage by generation (birth years shown) who reported being LGBTQ:[1]



It is important that companies, human resources management and people in leadership positions are aware of the attributes and skills of each generation, implementing strategies that celebrate the diversity of their employees throughout each of them.

 

3-  Use of AI to eliminate bias in hiring


Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the way we address bias in hiring. AI tools are becoming more sophisticated, allowing organizations to identify and remove biased language in job descriptions and website content, creating a more inclusive hiring process. .

Unconscious bias refers to making decisions based on inherent prejudices and biases, this influences relationships and decision-making in the workplace.

 DEI-focused leadership is crucial to attracting top talent. Constant efforts are required to check and minimize unconscious bias, fostering a truly inclusive workforce. Companies that lack strong DEI programs risk falling behind in the competitive hiring landscape.


It is also important not to lose track of critical thinking about what we read and see in answers or solutions generated by AI, since many times the algorithms can also be biased. To learn more about this, I recommend watching the Netflix documentary: “Coded Bias”


 

4-  Mental Health Support


The world of work is undeniably challenging, with the usual stressors of daily life magnified by global events. Finding ways to balance productivity, family time and leisure is more challenging but more important than ever.


According to iSalud, some tips to improve mental health in the work environment: [2]

  • Promote work-life balance, establishing clear limits between work and rest time, promoting disconnection.

  • Foster open and healthy communication, guaranteeing a work environment in which people feel safe expressing their concerns and emotions.

  • Encourage autonomy and a sense of achievement, giving people the opportunity to make decisions, as well as recognize and celebrate individual and collective achievements.

  • Provide support and resources, through wellness programs, counseling or access to mental health resources.

  • Offer your employees space for their personal development, providing opportunities and resources so that employees can grow both professionally and personally.


Recognising this, more organizations are focusing on prioritizing the health and mental wellbeing of their staff, understanding that breaks and work-life balance are not only beneficial but necessary for a healthy workplace.

 

5-  Holistic and Intersectional DEI Approach


This trend is similar to last year: having a coherent DEI strategy, associated with the company's values and well communicated is the commitment that must be achieved . This not only helps to enhance the other four tendencies, but also helps to manage the expectations of each of the people who make up the organization.


Transparent goals and objectives should be established for diversity and inclusion initiatives, improving accountability and encouraging honest conversations, as well as adding to them. For this, it is advisable to include the hiring of professionals dedicated to diversity who play roles in human resources, recruitment and leadership, leading educational sessions, managing D&I initiatives and, above all, avoiding “tokenism”.

The term tokenism comes from the English token, which means symbol, and refers to those merely symbolic acts that fail to promote a organizational culture that truly includesdiversity of gender, culture, age, education, religion, sexual orientation or otheras .

In order to avoid this, companies must begin to think more about the importance of INTERSECTIONALITY of people, and not focus on highlighting just one of their characteristics in the different events they hold during the year. year.

 


My greatest wish for 2024 is that we achieve more and more companies

out of the closet and leaders with more empathy!




You can get “Come Out! The ultimate guide for inclusivity in the business” on Amazon in Spanish, Portuguese and now also in English.




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