Creating Inclusion To Unlock Diversity Hiring – Part 5: Respecting what you don’t understand.

a man in a wheelchair with a laptop. Creating inclusion

Welcome back to the 5th and last article of our Unlock Diversity Hiring series, where we previously talked about safety and guaranteeing equality.

Ever notice how sometimes, the more we think we understand something, the more we realize we don’t? It’s like that with diversity and inclusion in hiring. Misunderstandings happen, but respecting what we don’t understand? Now, that’s where the magic lies.

In this article, we’re diving into how embracing what we don’t know can actually unlock the door to better diversity hiring.


Navigating unknown terrain

Picture this: diverse cultures, genders, religions, languages – it’s like a colorful tapestry, each thread weaving a unique story. But here’s the kicker: sometimes, we stumble upon unfamiliar territories. Cultural nuances, gender dynamics, religious practices, languages – they’re all part of the mix, and understanding them requires a GPS of empathy and respect. 

Kim Scott talks in her book Radical Respect that this kind of respect is something we owe to everyone; it is not something that needs to be “earned.”

Now, let’s talk about why giving respect to things you don’t entirely grasp is a wise move:

  • Humility: Admitting there’s stuff beyond your current comprehension can be a reality check. It’s a reminder that growth and learning are lifelong journeys.  Approaching the unknown with respect is like cracking open a book – it’s a chance to learn. 
  • Different perspectives: Just because something isn’t crystal clear to you doesn’t mean it lacks value. Respecting the unknown opens doors to diverse viewpoints that can broaden your own understanding.
  • Empathy: Understanding that others walk different paths fosters empathy. Appreciating diverse experiences, beliefs, and insights cultivates a richer understanding of the world.


Cultural and religious diversity
Without cultural diversity, the world would be a bland, monotonous place, like a canvas stripped of its colors. Having diverse perspectives in the workplace isn’t just about being politically correct; it’s about getting stuff done better. Different cultures bring different ways of thinking and problem-solving to the table. So, when you’re tackling a tough project, having a diverse team means you’re not just looking at things from one angle.

Did you know that in 2022, Google met its Racial Equity Commitment of increasing leadership representation of Black+, Latinx+, and Native American+ Googlers by 30%.

Now, a more touchy topic, religion. Religion is deeply woven into the fabric of human existence, from the rituals passed down through generations to the contemporary expressions of faith. For billions worldwide, religion isn’t just a set of beliefs; it’s a guiding force that shapes our worldview and influences how we engage with others. 

Embracing religious diversity isn’t just about tolerance; it’s about ensuring that everyone, regardless of their religious background, feels safe to practice their faith openly and authentically. By embracing this diversity, I believe we cultivate a culture of empathy, where understanding and respect for each other’s beliefs flourish.


Gender identity 

Respecting gender identity in the workplace is not only about understanding but also about living by it, even if it’s still a bit confusing. Some LGBTQ folks might not fully understand their own gender identity yet, but they still deserve to be respected and supported.

Respecting gender identity means using the right pronouns and names, even if they’re different from what you’re used to. It also means not assuming that everyone fits into traditional male or female categories and being willing to learn from transgender and non-binary people about their experiences.

To make sure everyone feels respected, workplaces can provide training on gender diversity. They can also put policies in place that support transgender and non-binary employees, like having gender-neutral bathrooms and allowing people to dress how they want. 

Take a look at our article on How to build a remote and inclusive work environment for LGBTQ+


Tips on embracing inclusion
    1. Educate yourself: Read books, watch documentaries, and engage with diverse communities to broaden your understanding of inclusion.
    2. Foster open dialogue: Create spaces where people feel comfortable sharing their experiences and perspectives, and actively listen to understand rather than to respond.
    3. Challenge Biases: Be mindful of stereotypes and prejudices that may influence your interactions with others, and strive to treat everyone with fairness and equity.
    4. Advocate for Change: Take a stand against discrimination and inequality whenever you encounter it. 


  • Lead by Example: Be a role model for inclusive behavior in your interactions with others. Show empathy, respect, and kindness to everyone you encounter. 


By respecting and celebrating diversity in all its forms, we not only enrich our communities and workplaces but also foster a sense of belonging and acceptance for everyone. 

This was the last article of our series, we recommend revisiting them to get a complete scope of the 5 essentials in diversity hiring. What’s your opinion? Speak your mind in the comments below. 

Remember to browse through our blog for articles about inclusive hiring, leadership and more. 

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