Employee resource groups or inclusion committees can provide an excellent way of educating colleagues and advancing your company’s diversity agenda, said Gebauer.
Increasingly, companies are putting those kinds of networks in place. If your workplace doesn’t have one to suit you, Gebauer suggested collaborating with HR to create one, noting that such groups are most effective when backed by leadership figures.
That could be a direct manager, a senior colleague belonging to the relevant minority group, or a mixture of the two. According to Gebauer, having them on the side could also provide a great opportunity for mentorship.
“You can find individuals who really want to share their experience and guide others,” she said. “I find the best are those within your organisation.”
Gebauer said that, alongside inherited diversity — i.e. gender, ethnicity, sexuality — there is also acquired diversity, which results from the kinds of experiences you have in your day-to-day life. You should be sensitive to both, and not make assumptions about who may or may not be interested in joining your cause, she said.
“It’s all about raising awareness and educating others. But you shouldn’t assume that certain people won’t be interested — they may actually provide a new way of looking at things.”