Companies that aren’t structurally and culturally inclusive can be harmful to the mental wellbeing of employees who have been hired as part of a diversity program. It often happens that these organizations end up in a zero-sum situation: as they increase their number of diverse employees, many in the original cohort leave.
The problem can be laid to companies not doing the real work of making inclusion a priority. In these situations, negative behavior – from microaggressions to full-on harassment – can frequently arise.
When this does occur, the diverse employee’s complaints are typically not taken seriously. In the aggregate, incidents like these can lead to a workplace that is toxic to diverse employees.
Promoting a culture of inclusion will help diverse candidates feel like they belong, that their ideas are valued, and that their contributions are welcome.
As a policy, increasing inclusion in the workplace will help create a culture of psychological safety. This in turn increases engagement and pays dividends in a more collaborative and innovative workforce.