Role of HR in Promoting Workplace Diversity & Inclusion

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  • 0:03 HR Department's…
  • 0:25 Defining Workplace…
  • 1:13 Example: Google
  • 2:51 Ways HR Can Help…
  • 3:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tiffani Lloyd
In this lesson, we'll examine the definition of diversity and inclusion in the workforce. We'll also discuss methods HR (human resources) may use to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

HR Department's Organizational Role

The human resource department (HRD) is the glue that holds together the employee structure of an organization. Its primary role is employee management and development, with the goal of ensuring that the organization's mission, vision, and goals are being implemented. So how does the role of 'the glue' translate over to creating diversity and inclusion within the workplace?

Defining Workplace Diversity & Inclusion

First, let's look at the meaning of diversity and inclusion as it pertains to the workplace. Diversity is more than race or ethnicity. Diverse workplaces are composed of employees with varying characteristics including, but not limited to, religious and political beliefs, gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, and geographic location. Inclusion is defined as having respect and appreciation for the differences in ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc., that make up the workplace. So, if diversity is the differences that make up the whole of an organization, and inclusion is the respect and appreciation of those differences, then the role of 'the glue' is to ensure that the organization is just that, diverse and inclusive.

Example: Google

You might be surprised, but it is a present-day struggle for huge corporations to find the balance that creates a diverse and inclusive work environment. Google, for instance, has struggled with broadening its employee representation from that of being predominantly white male to a more ethnic employee pool that reflects the world the company services.

When an organization faces this particular area of struggle, it is the job of the HRD to step in. Let's take a deeper look at this particular problem and examine possible ways 'the glue' can intervene.

Google is a popular global technology company that provides search, advertising, and different operating systems. Google was founded in 1998 and is a widely used search engine company with more than 40,000 employees.

A 2014 Washington Post article discussed Google's employee makeup. The figures mentioned in the article were based on an official Google blog post at the time, which indicated that 70 percent of the company's employees were men. Further, 61 percent of its total workforce was white, 30 percent was Asian, three percent was Hispanic, and two percent was African American.

When it comes to tech jobs in general, the same Washington Post article indicated less than 20 percent of tech positions were held by women. Only two percent of tech jobs were held by Latinos and one percent by African Americans, though more than 30 percent of workers in the tech field were Asian.

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