Pride month in June and recognition of challenges faced by the LGBTIQ+ community has never been more significant for the technology industry.
In an industry that relies on inclusive branding for both customer and employee retention, the lived experience of underrepresented staff is often challenged by behaviors and standards of monoculture.
We are facing fundamental shifts in the world of work as the world celebrates Pride. The future of work is flexible, Agile and employee led. According to a recent study, executives are worried that their culture will suffer or change in a virtual-first or hybrid world, and they are not sure how to maintain the same cultural ideals when employees don’t consistently work together in one place.
There is an opportunity to create new inroads in inclusion and re-create spaces free from bias.
The emergence of new forms of work that depart from the norm and allow for a new level of individuality and expression is a result of new organizational business models and changing attention to worker preferences.
Businesses have the chance to re-examine biases and behaviors. The make or break of allyship and inclusion is dependent on strong and authentic communication.
The future of work can be recalibrating communication and paving a path for stronger and genuine allyship agendas.
1. Life away from the water cooler
The culture of an organization can be seen and felt by watching and listening. The challenge is remote and hybrid models.
Group dynamics and water cooler chats are no longer shaping the feeling of comradery within an organization. Microaggressions, body language and exclusive dialogue are more noticeable in a virtual setting than they are in a real setting.
A comfort that fosters new ideas can be created by the absence of visible group cliques. Employees have a new place to listen, learn and reflect in removed settings.
2. A new awareness of passive inclusion
It is questionable if diversity is active or passive. The idea that policies and rhetoric qualify an organization as diverse and inclusive is more challenged in a remote or hybrid work environment.
Inclusion can be re-adjusted to be thoughtful, systematic, and above all, highly intentional, as the tech industry looks to incorporate new models around talent acquisition.
In building new communication and operational models for the future, organizations who understand and measure the delta between lived employee experience of belonging and organizational acceptance can create a truly inclusive environment.
3. A new space for awkward conversations
One of the main principles of a more inclusive workplace is allyship and uncomfortable conversations. Dialogue is a key tenant of allyship
Human nature shows that many people feel more comfortable talking about their struggles with identity and marginalization in a safe space than in an exposed setting. Public forums and team environments can be intimidating for some. The future of work is creating new spaces for conversations to take place.
New levels of authenticity are being brought to life and people are being allowed to express themselves from a self-chosen location. We allow for new conversations about who we are as we see into people’s homes, personal lives and even fashion choices. There is room for a heightened focus on 1:1 engagement and understanding in virtual teams that can pave the way to honest conversation, allyship and in turn inclusivity.
Against a backdrop of two of the toughest years since the great depression, a global competition for talent and a great resignation, this year’s Pride festival is an opportunity to consider the world of 2022, against a backdrop.
There is never a better time to understand the cultural needs of employees and move the dial on diversity and inclusion past rhetoric to empower a workforce that feels safe, respected, appreciated, and heard.
The world of work is changing and there is an opportunity to create new spaces and mechanisms for employees to be heard and seen in a different way.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the company.