White Males Leading Corporate Diversity Efforts
Today, most managerial roles in the top firms are occupied by white males. This section of society also forms the majority of the workforce in most companies. Due to these demographics, companies often face criticism, which has inspired them to try to increase diversity in the workplace.
However, sometimes while integrating diversity initiatives into their business, firms alienate white males from the process. Usually, there are blacks and other minority groups spearheading these diversity programs, due to their own experiences and unique perspectives. Thus, instead of building a work culture where every employee feels accepted and thrives in a diverse environment, having diversity programs run exclusively by minority and female workers could separate the diverse employees from the majority of the workforce – i.e. white males.
Sure, it is a great idea to have an employee from a minority group spearheading your diversity hiring efforts. However, in doing so, you may lose out on the support of your white male employees, who form a major chunk of the workforce.
They might not be very aware about special diversity hiring processes, which could lead them to believe they are being treated unfairly. Without any knowledge of this process, it may be difficult for your company’s white male population to fully comprehend what is happening and why the initiatives are taking place, potentially leading to some resistance toward forming a diverse work culture.
How You Can Change This:
A simple way to get white males on board with your diversification process is to allow them to lead diversity and inclusion initiatives. Here are some benefits of placing these individuals in leading diversity hiring roles:
Puts Candidates at Ease
If you have a white male conducting the interview process, your candidates may be more at ease with the company culture. If a minority candidate faces a white male interviewer who is understanding and compassionate, they will have the impression that the company welcomes people of all backgrounds.
Of course, you need to place the right person in the interviewer’s seat. Give this responsibility to someone with basic knowledge of the various socio-cultural backgrounds of diverse candidates, and who is able to carry out an interview without unintentionally offending the candidate.
Gets Other White Males On Board
If you have a white male leading your diversity efforts, this will encourage others to also join the diversity initiatives. If the majority of your workforce is comprised of white males, and you are running a diversity program, they might resist your efforts if they feel that there’s nothing in it for them.
However, if they see a white male in charge of such a delicate and vital process, they will feel like a part of it, and are more likely to accept the changes that bring in more diversity to the organization.
Sends a Message
Placing a white male in the lead role also sends a message to the public that all employees in your company are open to working in a diverse environment. There is a common misconception that white males in a company are not very accepting of diversity initiatives, so if you have one of them playing a major role in improving your company’s diversity, this is sure to dispel the notion that all white males prefer the status quo.
These are a few advantages of having a white male lead your diversity programs. To really create a work culture that’s accepting of all types of people, you’ll need to include everyone in the company, not just the minorities. Once you have the support of the white male majority, facilitating change will be a true team effort with everyone on board.