Our Voices

Smart employers lead and hire with dignity

Written by Jeffrey Siminoff

The angst some feel around workplace diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives is often built around a flawed premise. It’s that a focus on DEI means a take-away from some (say, straight white people) that subordinates merit to identity-based preferences.

In fact, inclusive workplace recruiting and culture strategies are meant to center the dignity of all workers and prospective hires so all of them have a fair opportunity to succeed.

Treating job candidates and employees with dignity is often part of organizational values statements. And while we are all equal in dignity – “our highest common denominator” and a “unifying force” as Leading with Dignity author Donna Hicks writes – those who are vulnerable or marginalized are at disproportionate risk of work-related dignity violations and exclusion.

Smart employers minimize those risks: from adding and authentically engaging with HBCUs in the college recruiting mix to considering people without four-year degrees who were previously disqualified in entry level jobs to creating pathways for formerly incarcerated people otherwise boxed out of employment opportunity to supporting community for workers who are LGBTQ+ or of color. Each – snapshots among many examples – expands the pool of great candidates considered (without eliminating anyone else or pre-ordaining a hiring decision) or fosters community (without denying community to anyone), all helping to ensure that workplaces truly thrive.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Read the article in the Wall Street Journal here.