Four key ways technology is enabling companies to reap the benefits of diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace (Reader Forum)

The world has changed in the last two years. Companies quickly switched to digital stepping stone not to thrive but to survive. When I started my career almost two and a half decades ago, talking about diversity and inclusion was reluctant and sometimes awkward. Since then, the needle has definitely shifted. More and more organizations have learned how important these conversations are to their success. Over the past two years, the accelerated introduction of technology has also paved the way for organizations to integrate diversity, inclusion and equality into the core of their corporate strategies.

Technology has become a means of reaping the benefits of diversity, inclusion and equality in four main ways:

1. Wider talent pool and richer and more diverse employee culture

The increase in the spread of technology has gone beyond. As models of remote and hybrid work are increasingly adopted, organizations are looking for untapped talent regardless of zip codes, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and sexual orientation. Rural labor is also finding greater employment opportunities, and people with special needs or disabilities will be able to work in the companies of their dreams without leaving their homes. Businesses will also benefit from this. The talent base will be larger than before, and the employee culture will be richer in talent from around the world, bringing different perspectives, creativity and innovative approaches to problem solving.

2. Level playing conditions through training

Greater adoption and development of technology will require more skills. Skills in working with application platforms, cloud, programming and system software will become more important. However, mastering these skills has also become easier. Organizations have a unique opportunity to create or improve their in-house training programs and level the playing field for their workforce. Many organizations provide teams with training and learning opportunities to develop their skills on an equal and non-discriminatory basis. But this should not be limited to employees. Companies should strive to create ecosystem communities that have diverse skill sets for the evolving landscape. One of the major initiatives in this area is the 5G Empower program, which aims to provide free training to 100,000 women worldwide 5G.

3. More collaboration through new ways of working

As technology paves the way for a more flexible workplace, companies are also adapting their policies to new ways of working. Ubiquitous connectivity and high speed will lead to smarter ways to work. There will be more emphasis on facilitating employee collaboration and interaction through sophisticated technological tools.

4. More impetus for well-being through the need for work-life balance

The pandemic highlighted the need for work-life balance. Organizations now use technology complemented by flexible policies to ensure the good emotional and physical well-being of employees. Companies need to pursue an inclusive approach to well-being through employee assistance programs that provide personalized solutions to well-being.

Technology needs to be complemented by the right approach

While the proliferation of technology makes jobs more diverse, inclusive and equal, success depends on how leaders want to create such an environment.

Creating a diverse, inclusive and equal workplace is a top-down approach. Leaders cannot practice these aspects in isolation from the rest of their work. They should be included throughout their activities. It should be part of how they communicate, interact, organize meetings, distribute tasks and so on.

An organization’s culture should strive to be its competitive advantage, and diversity, inclusion and equality are important aspects of laying a solid foundation for a positive workplace culture. Companies need to pay attention to how diversity and inclusion present themselves at all levels of employee experience. Use this information to come up with new approaches to combining human-centered initiatives and building trusting relationships with employees to improve overall performance.

There are no universal options for creating a variety of jobs. To make sure your company is a “listening organization,” use technology to conduct periodic heart rate checks and make sure you manage meaningful programs. However, with the use of technology and the right intentions, it is important that leaders and team leaders make huge strides in creating a diverse, equal and inclusive workplace.

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