A reputation can be easily broken if your business fails to do basic things and support obvious causes. Every single business on the planet should make active strides towards supporting workplace equality. A very common issue is that many companies claim to do so, but it's purely used as a branding ploy. You think that claiming you support equality will paint a positive picture for consumers, and it might work temporarily. However, actions speak a lot louder than words, and if your business is caught not doing anything to promote equality, people catch on very fast.
You can't just post a Tweet about equality and think that's all you have to do. No. There are many things a company can do to support equality in the workplace - and here are three very simple ideas to build upon:
Provide equal pay
An easy place to start: provide equal pay for all your employees. No matter what gender or race they are, your employees should receive the same pay for the same jobs. You'll be stunned at how many businesses still don't do this, often paying women less for the same job that a man does. The problem is that it goes unnoticed as employees are unlikely to talk about their wages. So, you can change this by being more transparent and publishing people's wages, showing that they do indeed get paid the same.
Support key causes/movements
As a business, you have a lot of firepower to support important causes that aid the fight for equality. Sometimes, it can feel as though causes and movements do more harm than good. However, scholars like Adam Elliott-Cooper have gone on record to say how important things like Black Lives Matter are for wider society. Causes like this raise awareness about serious issues and fundamental equality problems in society. If you actively support causes like this, it shows your business is trying its best to lead the fight against inequality. It also helps your employees feel like they have an ally. If you have black employees and they see you actively taking a stand against racism and supporting charities or movements, it makes them feel like they're not alone. The same goes for any other causes relating to equality.
Make diverse hires
The previous two points are good, but one of the best ways to clearly support equality is to make diverse hires. If you offer equal pay and support movements, yet your entire team is full of white men, it has an air of 'just doing it for show.' Having a diverse team of men and women from many cultural backgrounds demonstrates that you clearly want the workplace to be an even playing field. More importantly, hiring women or people from ethnic backgrounds in positions of power is so crucial. You see many companies claim to have lots of diversity on their books, only to see that the middle-aged white men are still holding the management positions. Bringing in people from different backgrounds is also a smart business decision as it often means you have different ideas and thoughts circulating at all times. This helps you conjure new ideas, pushing your business in the right direction.
The key takeaway from this post is that you shouldn't just make statements about equality and leave it at that. It's time to actively take a stand and let your actions do the talking!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.