Forbes has named Compass Group one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity every year since the list’s inception in 2018.
It’s an impressive accomplishment, but not good enough to rest on our laurels.
That’s why Compass Group Chief Growth Officer Chris Kowalewski recently asked for volunteers to serve on a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board. He said he was inspired after attending the Global Leadership and the Be the Difference conferences in July, which helped shape his views on taking more intentional and purposeful action to move the needle on inclusion.
So, that begs the question: How can you embrace DEI in your writing? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few tips:
- Be mindful of changing terminology.
Terms used to refer to racial and ethnic groups continue to change over time. Designations can become dated and may hold negative connotations. But some new designations, such as Latinex, are frowned upon by the people they are meant to identify. So, beware.
- Use inclusive language.
Inclusive language is the words and phrases you use that avoid biases, slang and expressions that discriminate against groups of people based on race, gender, socioeconomic status and ability. For example, we use “humankind” instead of “mankind.”
- Consider the accuracy of your words.
To refer to non-white racial and ethnic groups collectively, use terms such as “people of color” or “underrepresented groups” rather than “minorities” because it is usually equated with being less than, oppressed or deficient in comparison with the majority. Plus, the same groups often lumped together as “minorities” are actually the global majority.
- Use gender-neutral pronouns.
Per AP Style, “they” is appropriate as a singular pronoun, great for replacing archaic “he/she” constructions that don’t account for individuals who identify as non-binary. This is just one example of the ways language shifts with changes in culture and society.
- Lean on your colleagues’ diversity.
The sales team is made up of folks from all walks of life with various interests. Don’t hesitate to ask them to read behind you when writing about issues that involve culture.
WE ALL BENEFIT FROM A MORE DIVERSE WORKPLACE
Chris K says we have a great opportunity to build on our diversity and that about 70 people responded to his heartfelt request to join the new DEI Advisory Board. If you expressed an interest, you should have gotten a short survey to fill out, which was due at the end of July.
If you missed out, find more Compass Group DEI news here.
As we continue our journey to become more inclusive, let’s be aware that our words matter and how we use them will also play a role. And, if you’re still not convinced, here are the top five benefits of a diverse workplace according to Indeed:
- Better opportunities for creativity and problem-solving: A diverse workforce brings a wide variety of people with different experiences, skills, perspectives and insights together to solve problems.
- Smarter decision-making: Diverse teams make better decisions than non-diverse teams up to 87% of the time, according to one study.
- An increase in profits and productivity: Ambitious professionals are often more attracted to inclusive companies. This can result in a more motivated, efficient workforce and increased productivity and profitability.
- Reduced rates of employee turnover: Employees often feel more comfortable and satisfied in inclusive environments. They also tend to be more loyal and are more inclined to stay longer at companies where their unique contributions are recognized and respected.
- Improved reputation for your business: When businesses promote diversity, they’re perceived as more relatable, socially responsible and human by a greater number of people. This can improve your overall brand reputation.
Don’t be sad. We’ll be back on the first Monday next month with a new blog post. If you can’t wait that long – whether because you have a topic you’d love us to cover, a question or you simply want to throw your two cents into the pot – we love talkin’ shop, so drop us a line.