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The Different Types of Employee Diversity for DEI

A group of people working

DEI has been a buzzword for the last 3 years, particularly highlighting the racial and gender diversity the most. But what other types of employee diversity should your company look out for? The truth is, diversity isn’t something that is always shown at face value; it can include differences within the individual or their circumstances.

DEI Diversity: Veterans

Veterans often face unique challenges when deployed from the military; many start as young as 17, so their only job experience is within the military. Despite this gap in their resume, looking at the skills and qualities they developed during their service is important.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking for a candidate:

  • Did they hold a leadership position?

  • What were their daily responsibilities?

  • Were they extremely organized?

DEI Diversity: Caregivers

Most employers see caregivers as liabilities, especially if they’re single parents. However, employers can create some of the best employees if they look past this. For example, many caregivers can efficiently multitask, manage their time, and be detail-oriented. (Think about all the requirements it takes to raise a child!) Caregivers also have great interpersonal skills such as empathy, communication, and conflict management.

If the most talented employee lacks interpersonal skills and creates a toxic work environment, their value decreases.

DEI Diversity: Ageism

Age may just be a number, but it doesn’t feel like it in today’s workplace. Age diversity is at its peak, with most generations working simultaneously in history. With new and developing technology, managing employees with big age gaps can be difficult.

Here is a list of hirable skills for the most extreme age ranges:

The most mature population (Gen X and Baby Boomers):

  • Resourceful

  • Independent and Entrepreneurial

  • Thrive in in-office working environments

The youngest population (Gen Z):

  • Tech-savvy

  • Ambitious

  • Progressive and focused on creating an inclusive environment

To manage these different age ranges, it’s important to set up a clearly defined communication style for the company so that, despite the age difference, everyone can get their ideas across successfully.

DEI Diversity: Disabled

Just because somebody is disabled doesn’t mean they don’t want to or can’t work. Oftentimes, there are misconceptions and assumptions made about the disabled that aren’t true.

Here are some key statistics to know:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, businesses that have diversified their workforce to include people with disabilities reported a 90 percent increase in retention of valued employees and a 72 percent increase in employee productivity.

  • The reality is less than 40 percent of workers with disabilities require accommodations at work, and if they do, they often cost less than $500. These costs are usually offset by increases in productivity and lower turnover when hiring workers with disabilities. (BRS)

Sometimes, disabilities can be invisible; it’s also important to keep an open mind for individuals suffering from not-so-obvious conditions such as hearing or vision loss, sleeping disorders, etc.

DEI Diversity: Education

In the previous generations, it was encouraged (and even pushed) to earn a college degree to get a good job. With new technology, people can learn hirable skills outside of traditional education.

For example, only 75% of developers have completed some form of higher education. (LevelUp)

DEI Diversity: Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity means that an individual thinks differently, often referring to people on the autism spectrum. As you can imagine, neurodiverse people have lots of hirable qualities that cater to their strengths:

  • Problem-solving

  • Loyalty

  • Different perspectives

  • Creativity

The Bottom Line

It’s important to note that employees can only thrive if you’ve set up an inclusive environment. This includes a judgment-free workplace and creating a space that allows them to contribute to the company.

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