Breaking Down Barriers: Creating Inclusive Workplaces Through Behavioral Change

March 15, 2023 Author: Mario X. Carrasco

Companies prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion often experience higher rates of productivity and increased profits. That diversity goes beyond racial and ethnic differences, however. Diversity of thought is equally important, which drives innovation and creative problem-solving.

From a talent management perspective, fostering an inclusive workplace is essential to attracting and retaining talent and developing talent, particularly for marginalized and underrepresented groups. The process begins with acknowledging that these groups require programs specifically designed to build equity within an organization. While people generally have a shared humanity, understanding that systemic “isms” have moved the finish line for marginalized communities is essential to advancing equity.

DE&I initiatives existed before 2020, but post-George Floyd, many organizations have stepped up their commitments, partly because it's the right thing to do but also in fear of public backlash. An increasing percentage of consumers want to shop with brands that prioritize DE&I. Similarly, a growing number of consumers are willing to stop frequenting a store that does not publicly and consistently support diversity and inclusion. It is not just consumers unwilling to support a brand that does not meet DE&I expectations. Prospective and current employees within an organization are hyper-aware of this, and they use it to decide whether to take a job or not or stay or leave their current jobs.

Ultimately, an organization's culture is not inclusive if people are invited into a space unwilling to change. People need a sense of belonging to feel included and authentically accepted for who they are. But creating that environment in an organization is challenging because it is not easy to change hearts and minds. People have deeply ingrained values and beliefs, which make behavioral change difficult.

In this episode of The New Mainstream podcast, Tanya Diaz-Goldsmith, Director of Talent Development & Diversity for Related Companies, shares how DE&I programs focusing on behavioral changes can foster inclusive workplace environments and increase employee retention.

Meet Tanya:

Tanya Diaz-Goldsmith is the Director of Talent Development & Diversity for Related Companies. She leads Related’s diversity efforts, working to embed best in class diversity and inclusion practices into all facets of the business in order support the company’s commitment to advancing equity. Since joining Related, Tanya has developed robust strategies to promote diversity that prioritize a holistic, people centric approach and makes use of her decades of experience in real estate and nonprofit. She continues to leverage her background to build an organizational culture that inspires and supports ideation, innovation and inclusion. An enthusiastic and passionate advocate for DE&I, Tanya is known for her commitment to increasing diversity within the real estate industry.