New Book by Diversity Expert Examines Issues of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Book Offers Guidance on How Companies Can Shape and Sustain Global Diversity Strategies in a Rapidly Changing Workplace Environment
As workplace demographics shift, corporate boards of directors and CEOs are declaring workforce diversity to be one of their top people priorities. The Inclusion Paradox: The Obama Era and the Transformation of Global Diversity, the third edition by Andrés Tapia, Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner and Global Practice Leader of Workforce Inclusion, Inclusion, and Diversity defines and examines the difference between diversity and inclusion in the workplace and how companies can achieve both to create a stronger and more engaged workforce.
Through a collection of stories, insights, and observations culled from his experience working with organizations to cultivate diverse and inclusive workplaces, Tapia explores the implications that the transformed economy, business world, society, and political landscape have had on diversity and inclusion on U.S. workplaces. He explains that for companies to be truly inclusive organizations, employers need to rethink many of the common assumptions about diversity in the workplace. Among these is the notion that differences must be minimized. On the contrary, Tapia believes companies should constructively call out workplace differences and start a dialogue to help shape programs and policies that take these differences into account.
“Companies often interchange diversity and inclusion. In reality, I believe diversity is the mix and inclusion is making the mix work,” explained Tapia. ”In other words, many companies have gotten very good at getting the right mix of people in the door, but we have been unprepared for how to make that more complex mix work once it comes together. Companies have been good at creating a workforce that looks different, but they aren’t adequately prepared for a workforce that thinks differently. They’ve fallen short when it comes to understanding how to develop a corporate culture where all employees feel included, respected and comfortable.”
The Inclusion Paradox also explores the cultural implications of Obama’s two terms as President and how this era even as he moves on from the office will have affected diversity and inclusion moving forward. Tapia points out that the election not only affected personal, group, and institutional relationships, but it also impacts how we all do our work strategically and day-to-day.
“Many people believe that the US and the world has graduated to a ‘post racial’ society. But the controversies and discussions raised by President Obama’s election confirm that there’s still so much work for us to do as a society before we can claim that title,” said Tapia. ”This makes it a prime opportunity for companies to capitalize on the re-energized discussions around diversity and examine how the issue is addressed within their organization and where opportunities lie to transcend diversity and create an inclusive workplace.”
In The Inclusion Paradox, Andres addresses a number of important questions around diversity and inclusion, including:
- What are organizations overlooking that could strengthen their internal pipeline of diverse talent?
- What barriers can we remove to support greater advancement of women?
- How can organizations provide health care and retirement benefits that address the unique needs of African-American and Latino employees?
- How can global teams work more effectively across language barriers?
- What can organizations do for their employees to address the need for work-life flexibility?
- How can increasingly diverse teams manage their differences to achieve better business results and improve employee engagement?
The Inclusion Paradox: The Obama Era and the Transformation of Global Diversity is available at Amazon.com. Members of the media can contact Tracy.Kurschner@kornferry.com to obtain a copy of the book.