Novare Accelerate Program är ett ledarskapsprogram där vi utforskar olika perspektiv på ledarskap. I modulen ”Leading through people” är ett av perspektiven mångfald och inkludering. Ayaz Shukat på Microsoft är en av gästtalarna som var inbjudan att prata om just detta. Vi passade på att ställa några frågor.
Ayaz Shukat is one of the several of several D&I ambassadors at Microsoft driving awareness under the umbrella of “bring your whole self to work” focusing on Ethnicity, Race and Faith. He has always been extremely passionate about Diversity & Inclusion and been driving impactful activities for the last 20+ years. Ayaz core belief is that every organisation needs to empower their employees as well as the society in which they operate towards more inclusion and acceptance of minority perspectives.
Celebrating diversity at work is important because it brings unique perspectives, fostering creativity, innovation, and better product development.
Ayaz, can you give some practical examples on how to celebrate differences in the workplace?
– Celebrating diversity at work is important because it brings unique perspectives, fostering creativity, innovation, and better product development. Diverse organizations benefit from a richness of ideas, experiences and ways of working. Company culture is enhanced when all backgrounds are welcomed and celebrated, from religion and language to family set-up.
Some short recommendations:
- Check in with all of your employees regularly and encourage them to check in with each other as well.
- Facilitate virtual team-building activities and social hours so everyone can stay connected on a human level.
- Interrupt harmful language or behavior in the moment. This includes noting your own, as we all have bias. Speak up!
- Provide employee diversity training that covers topics such as unconscious bias, cultural awareness, and inclusion.
- Develop a cultural calendar that includes important dates for different cultures and faiths.
Also, how can we work with allyship?
– Allyship is a lifelong process of building and nurturing supportive relationships with underrepresented, marginalized, or discriminated individuals or groups with the aim of advancing inclusion. Here are some ways to implement allyship at work:
- Listen more than you speak.
- Be strategic in your advocacy.
- Create and facilitate more inclusive meetings.
- Take the time to reflect on how bias might show up in your work.
- Use inclusive language.
- Communicate your values.
In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, fostering diversity and inclusion within the workplace isn’t just a noble aspiration, but a strategic imperative for any successful organization.
Lastly, do you have any advice for managers who want to take the next step in their D&I work?
– In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, fostering diversity and inclusion within the workplace isn’t just a noble aspiration, but a strategic imperative for any successful organization. As managers, your role in creating an environment where all employees feel valued and included is pivotal.
Here are some key skills and strategies to help you improve your diversity and inclusion efforts:
- Educate Yourself: Begin by actively educating yourself about various aspects of diversity and inclusion, including different cultural backgrounds, gender identities, abilities, and more. Understanding these nuances will empower you to lead with sensitivity and awareness.
- Self-Awareness: Recognize your own biases and privileges. Developing self-awareness allows you to better understand how your perspective might differ from others and helps you avoid inadvertently marginalizing any group.
- Lead by Example: Set the tone for inclusivity by modeling respectful behavior. Demonstrate your commitment to diversity through your words, actions, and decisions.
- Empower Diverse Voices: Encourage open dialogue and create platforms where employees from all backgrounds feel comfortable expressing their ideas. Actively seek out and amplify diverse perspectives during discussions and decision-making processes.
- Bias Mitigation: Integrate bias-mitigation strategies into your decision-making processes. This could involve structured interviews, diverse hiring panels, and blind resume reviews to minimize unconscious biases.
- Cultural Competence: Develop cultural competence within your team. This involves understanding and respecting different cultural norms and customs, which can enhance collaboration and productivity.
- Flexible Policies: Create policies that accommodate diverse needs. This could include flexible work hours, accessible facilities for people with disabilities, and parental leave policies that cater to different family structures.
Remember, fostering diversity and inclusion isn’t a one-time task, but an ongoing journey that requires dedication, empathy, and a willingness to learn and adapt. As a manager, your leadership has the power to shape a workplace where everyone can thrive, regardless of their background. By honing these skills and implementing these strategies, you’ll be taking meaningful steps towards creating a more diverse and inclusive environment for your team.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom Ayaz!
Novares uppskattade ledarskapsprogram för chefer, projektledare och specialister som vill ta sitt ledarskap till nästa nivå. Under fyra interaktiva moduler blandar vi sessioner med gästtalare med erfarenhetsutbyte och workshops med teman som ledarskap, affärsutveckling, förändring och självledarskap.