The Role of Diversity and Inclusion: Brand Management

Guest Post by Karla Rodgers PHR, SHRM-CP, Manager of Employee Relations, Infirmary Health & 2016 Diversity Coordinator for Mobile SHRM

Diversity is an integral component of brand management, especially if we want to attract and retain top talent.  As HR professionals we understand the importance of Title VII and being an equal opportunity employer. But diversity isn’t just about complying with the law; it’s about fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion and demonstrating that culture through a diverse workforce.

What Is Diversity?

SHRM defines diversity as “the collective mixture of differences and similarities that include, for example, gender, physical abilities, individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences, and behaviors.” These similarities and differences can be traits that are visible or invisible.

What Is Inclusion?

SHRM defines inclusion as “the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to an organizations success."

Understanding the Importance

Diversity and inclusion are what make us uniquely different and are monumental in the success of any organization. Top talent seeks employment where they are able to interact with diverse people in a setting where they can maximize their unique qualities.

Potential employees want to know that their culture and background will be seen with value in moving the organization forward. These potential employees want to be in an atmosphere where differences will be viewed as inimitable element and that they will not be treated differently because of them. 

“Diversity has also been shown to increase positive community and consumer perceptions. Communities and consumers want to engage with and do business with organizations that reflect themselves and the current population” (Lieber, 2012).

How Does Your Company Measure Up?

What are potential employees saying about your organization? Diversity isn’t just those visible or invisible traits outlined in Title VII. It is seeing the value in a diverse, inclusive environment where people of all backgrounds, cultures and races are truly able to say my uniqueness matters!