It’s 2018: time to get Gen Z involved in Diversity and Inclusion

With January coming to a close, 2018 is officially underway. Generation Z is beginning to enter the workforce in droves so it’s critical that we check in with the youngest generation to see how they are engaging with diversity and inclusion. This week’s post will give you all the insight you need into possible difficulties with getting young people involved, why it is critical you focus on new people in the workforce, and how to most effectively engage Gen Z in the fight for Diversity and Inclusion.

In order to see the intended results of Diversity and Inclusion, it is important that everyone is stepping up, speaking out, and working towards inclusive workspaces. However, when dealing with the newest addition to the working sphere, it is possible you will encounter these road bumps:

  1. Inexperience. Young people have yet to experience many of the trials and tribulations of workplaces biases. It may take them some time to recognize implicit bias, microaggressions, and other inappropriate behavior in an office. Especially, if it’s not directed at them.

  2. Too new, too quiet. Even if they do notice, they maybe too scared to say anything at all. It takes confidence, skill, and security to speak up and not fear repercussions. Young people may not recognize the power that they have.

  3. Wait this isn’t normal? So, they may notice and they may not fear anything at all. But, it is very possible that they do not know that it isn’t normal. No or limited previous experience means they may not be able to recognize what is irregular and wrong behavior. Remember when you were young, and you let someone talk to you or treat you in a way that you never would today. Help show young people that disrespect and unequal treatment are simply not okay.

But don’t let those hurdles stop you from your goal of getting all people involved in the Diversity and Inclusion field. In case you’ve forgotten or think it is pointless, this is why you need to step up and engage them:

  1. Fresh faces. It can be harsh reality to step into. Helping out a fresh face can not only lead them to reacting in ways that can create positive change, but it can also help them from fearing that everyone is like the toxic people they may encounter.

  2. Moldable. First impressions stick. Helping young people to become involved in diversity and inclusion will show them that this is an important part of working and office culture. Mold them into becoming the awesome and capable employees that they can be.

  3. You. Go to bed knowing that you made a change in at least one persons life. Your contributions to diversity and inclusion will increase with each person you inspire.

You know that they can have hiccups to engagement and that you need to guide them towards Diversity and Inclusion efforts, so how do you do it?! Following these three easy tips will help you to accomplish what you really need-- more people on the side of diversity and inclusion:

  1. Talk isn’t that cheap. Start the conversation! This can be a totally new, unheard of concept so introduce them. Give them a space to ask questions and hear what you have to say.

  2. But it means nothing without actions. Back up these talks with real change. We cannot just talk and hope to see change, so once your young people have been educated in what it diversity and inclusion is, show them how it is done! It can be hard to do it in your own so check out programs that will help you to show how positive change happens.

  3. Work it out in workshops. Contact the experts at The Mentor Method. Budget time for Diversity and Inclusion during work, or even lunch, and get the company involved. Learn more about workshops here.

So, get out there and inspire those new kids on the block to become positive agents of change in your workplace. The oldest of Generation Z is graduating college and moving towards the land of adulthood. It is important that the Millennials and older do not forget to teach the wonderful initiatives they started, and pass it down to the next generation.

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