Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Manufacturing

Published on: March 19, 2021

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The altering social landscape has prompted companies to reevaluate their approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Several businesses faced a call for action last year. Regulators forced their hands to state their positions clearly on the social justice and civil rights issues prevalent today.

The ball game further left the manufacturers wondering how best to respond, remarkably if they have remained silent in the past. You can promote DEI in the workplace through several methods, much of which entail adequate dialogue, communication, diverse ethnic understanding, and mutual respect. You can also formulate practices that align with your business objectives and goals while promoting workplace efficiency.

Ideally, getting DEI right this year is crucial for employers considering the stringent laws that have stirred up the court and the outright indifferent attitudes that plague workplaces worldwide. A primary stakeholder could be federal contractors subject to affirmative action laws and regulations, which in turn may be seeking to strengthen their commitments towards the concept and developing effective strategies.

If you are a manufacturer, consider the following questions may help you understand DEI better:

  • -What is the current status of your manufacturing unit? What DEI metrics can I practice that immediately relate to hiring, promoting, and retaining? What are these metrics teaching us?
  • -Try to scope out your goals and find ways to hold yourself accountable in scenarios where your objectives seek evaluation. You are also explore methods to memorialize your goals, for instance, choosing between a DEI action plan or an affirmative action plan
  • -Decide whether yo plan on being an employer-of-choice for DEI issues, or are you satisfied to stay out of the news and off social media when it comes to negative press
  • -Once you have determined your goals, based on that, assess what internal and external resources you will require
  • -Scope of the leader who will drive the DEI initiatives in your organization
  • -You must also choose who will assume the responsibility of giving a public statement or undertake internal communication in testy scenarios
  • -While selecting the leaders who will drive the DEI initiatives, you must assess whether they have the necessary skill set to speak competently on the prevalent DEI issues
  • -Try to take a survey of the baseline knowledge that exists across the enterprise. In this way, you will realize if there is any training that needs to occur and, if it does happen, who will be the participants
  • -You must understand whether your outreach methods appeal to a diverse population and attract a varying applicant pool. If not, find ways to elaborate the process or scout methods to approach a more diverse talent
  • -Try to assess whether your organization required a DEI committee and/or affinity or employee resource groups

Core Components Imperative for a Strong DEI Programs

If you are a manufacturer looking to implement a robust DEI program this year, the following core components can come in handy for successful execution.

Dissipate Training to all Employee Levels

Several states in the country have specific requirements for anti-discrimination training. However, you must consider whether such training is robust and tailored to meet the needs of a workplace striving to meet DEI goals. For instance, a typical training might entail an overview of the internal working and policies, relevant employment laws, and appropriate workplace behavior. As a result, customizing a training program and making it suitable to the workplace’s requirements is imperative. Apart from this, every management level in the organization must be trained against implicit bias, micro-aggressions, and bystander conundrums.

Undertake a DEI Audit

Periodic assessments for DEI will allow manufacturers to understand better what is in place and whether the initiatives are working. Additionally, it would help shape goals more appropriately.

Consider Marketing to a Diverse Talent Pool

This step may call for you to bring a consultant on board who would help you outline strategies, concentrate resources, or expands on hiring initiatives to broaden the diversity among the pool of applicants.

Focus on Retention and Promotion just as closely as Hiring

Devising diverse hiring strategies is critical, but the whole process would be moot if you cannot retain employees or promote them to positions that entail more responsibility and accountability. You would face challenges in analyzing the hiring trends around the metrics if employee retention eludes your organization.

Report Key Metrics and Trends Proactively

You must report the key metrics and trends entailing DEI to the board of directors proactively. Any director would be well-served on issues that could eventually impact a manufacturing organizations performance. As a result, reporting crucial metrics could benefit your unit in the long run and help realize vital goals.

Survey whether a DEI Committee would robustly support Business Initiatives

If you find a DEI committee helpful for your organization, then subsequent considerations would entail which employees to include, the leaders who would be the captain at the helm, and what metrics and strategies will govern the committee. Before instituting a DEI committee, ensure that all ground rules are in place and an appropriate body that would track the committee’s progress

Assess whether instituting an Affinity or Employee Resource Group would empower DEI Goals

Affinity or Employee Resource Groups often contain members who identify with a similar social oneness, life experience, or even race, gender, or sexual inclinations. An employer can create such groups to foster support and assistance within the organization while guaranteeing retention.

Getting DEI right in 2021 is achievable. If you want to get ahead of the curve, you must engage and involve employees across different levels and departments while considering the core components outlined above. Dynamic DEI initiatives include active participation from management to the lowest level employees that will further foster and promote an inclusive environment in the workplace. It implies that yo can reap the benefits of a diverse workforce while keeping your manufacturing unit’s productivity at its highest. DEI Also make you compliant with relevant laws and helps employees proactively adapt to the dynamic environment businesses operate in.

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