Here’s how to solve your “diversity problem”…
Try actually giving a fuck.
Seriously, as a human being, YOU should care about belonging to an organization of incredible people that reflect the whole world of people that you want using or consuming your product/site/app.
And guess what? Quotas and pie charts don’t mean anything if you don’t actually care. And by care, I mean that you shouldn’t feel comfortable if your organization is stacked with people of similar backgrounds, experiences, and ways of thinking. Can a room of 100 people with similar perspectives offer the variety of solutions, stories, and experience that a room of 100 people with unique perspectives can?
Think about spending time, money, and resources coming at problems the same way, with the same thinking, over and over again. If your organization isn’t made up of a diverse group of individuals, you’ll most likely end up approaching each project or obstacle the same way. You’ll use the same code patterns, the same words, the same design assets, and stock images. Where’s the creativity in that? Where’s the innovation in that? There is none. If you’re stuck in this loop, stop yourself now…because NEWS FLASH: You’re probably not differentiating yourself or doing something significant.
And before you look around the room and say “Okay, we need to hire # more [insert word here] people and this problem will be solved,” slow your roll.
Diversity doesn’t get solved.
Diversity isn’t just about numbers.
Diversity means caring.
Diversity means building something that invites unique perspectives, and it’s also about inclusion, making sure that everyone feels welcome, comfortable, and essential once they’re in the door. Get it? Diversity means caring at every stage, everyday, and forever. It doesn’t end when you’ve made a few new hires, and it doesn’t end when you go home at night. It’s teaching our children. It’s how we act when we’re outside of work and when we’re on the internet.
Kudos to the people that care.
Kudos to the people that give a fuck.
And if the only time your org talks about diversity is at KPI season…think again. Your org doesn’t have a “diversity problem,” it just has problems period.