Taking Pride In What Makes Us Thrive

June is Pride month here in the U.S., and many employers are celebrating by re-casting their logos in rainbow. Don’t get me wrong — a striking change to an emblem as steady as a logo can  signal support. But the move rings hollow if it’s not matched by an underlying framework of inclusion and care.

Lots of businesses have realized the importance of making good on their public-facing promises, including those made during Pride month. After all, developing a strong diversity, equity and inclusion program isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s good for people, it’s good for business. Inclusive employers have been shown to earn higher revenue and grow faster. Such organizations are also much more likely to capture new markets and outperform competitors.

I probably don’t need to convince you of the benefits you can reap by doing DEI right. Most business leaders want to nail it. But the problem isn’t the wanting — it’s the doing. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Don’t let fairness be the enemy of individuality

Why do employers fret over their plans to support their LGBTQ+ employees? One reason, perhaps, is that employers received clarity regarding LGBTQ-related workplace discrimination only two years ago. Up until then, agencies, courts and employers were split on whether our nation’s foremost anti-discrimination law banned workplace bias in regard to sexual orientation and gender identity, like it did with other characteristics such as race and religion.

The Supreme Court justices have now made it perfectly clear that employers may not discriminate against workers because of their sexual preference or gender identity. The edict leaves organizations to act in accordance with the standard set by Title VII, which generally states that employers treat workers the same and without regard to their protected characteristics.

This rule is a good one. But in the age of “bring your whole self to work,” it can feel a little stiff, especially during months like this one. Can we treat everyone the same while celebrating what makes us unique?

I believe that we can and should chase after fairness and individuality, all at the same time. In fact, that’s what PeopleBest is all about. We’ve created a tool that allows employers to uncover the precious and unique talents of their team members. Our technology generates information that informs business leaders where their workers thrive, allowing them to equip individuals with the right opportunities, training and challenges. Our platform allows organizations to go deep with their DEI initiatives, seeking to support and further everyone, all the time.

To find out how PeopleBest brings real solutions to understanding your people, book a demo and set up a time to chat with one of our specialists.

PeopleBest is a revolutionary, simple and powerful way to capture the exact ‘DNA of success’ inside people, teams and companies


Embrace neurodiversity by nixing rigid hiring practices

With World Autism Awareness Day just behind us on April 2, I want to take a moment to speak to a topic that’s often left out of discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion: Neurodiversity.

We as business leaders spend a lot of time considering how we can provide robust employment experiences to all employees, no matter their skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability. It’s our duty to do so, and an effort many of us are set on improving.

But we don’t often discuss how our workplaces impact people with neurodevelopmental differences. I’d like to take a moment to do that today, to shed light on a topic integral to the DEI discussion and consider how we as employers can do better.

What is neurodiversity?

I’d like to think I can do justice to the term “neurodiversity,” but perhaps we should call in a couple of experts.

In an article for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. Nicole Baumer and Dr. Julia Fresh hashed out the meaning of the term. “Neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one ‘right’ way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits.”

John Elder Robison, the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William & Mary, described his perception of neurodiversity as an autistic adult in an article for Psychology Today.

“To me, neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome,” Robison wrote. “This represents a new and fundamentally different way of looking at conditions that were traditionally pathologized; it’s a viewpoint that is not universally accepted, although it is increasingly supported by science.”

Better workplaces, better work

How does the concept of neurodiversity translate to the workplace? A few high-profile businesses have committed to increasing neurodiversity among their ranks, experimenting with the best ways to provide neurodivergent folks — a community that encapsulates many — a great employment experience.

One of the best and most visible examples of such employers is SAP, a German IT and software company that pioneered Autism at Work. The program, launched in 2013, is designed to embrace neurodivergent workers by championing the unique gifts and skills they bring to the table.

“At SAP, we don’t ask our employees to change what makes them unique, we embrace it,” the company says on its website. “We want our employees to know they can be themselves at work and that we value their authentic identities. We encourage all of our employees to bring everything they are and become everything they want every day.”

The strategy has appeared to pay off in more ways than one. The corporation told the Wall Street Journal that its Autism at Work program boasts a 90% retention rate among employees on the autism spectrum. Take that, Great Resignation.

Nix rigidity and make change happen

Employers may not need to launch a global program to grow in diversity and inclusion of the neurodivergent community. In fact, we can start by stepping away from rigid practices that may eliminate neurodivergent applicants from our candidate pools.

For instance: Your company may want a candidate to charm her way to a job offer in an interview. But a candidate with autism may have trouble, for example, looking you in the eye while she explains her strengths and weaknesses. The same candidate, however, could wow you with her coding abilities and huge capacity for information retention.

The point is simple. Don’t throw out excellent candidates because they don’t fit the corporate norm. Instead of hunting for candidates who conform to accepted social standards, assess candidates for skills that are important to the role you’re hiring for. My point is this: We need to celebrate people for who they are by assessing them for their strengths and matching them with roles that cater to their capabilities.

To find out how PeopleBest can help your team embrace neurodiversity, book a demo and set up a time to chat with one of our specialists.

PeopleBest is a revolutionary, simple and powerful way to capture the exact ‘DNA of success’ inside people, teams and companies


#BreakTheBias for Women in the Workplace

Today, March 8, marks International Women’s Day. According to the organization behind the day, International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 20th century. 

The United States first celebrated the day — then dubbed the National Woman’s Day — on Feb. 28, 1909. It was celebrated annually on the last Sunday of February in the U.S. until 1913, when the widely adopted Gregorian calendar appointed the celebration to March 8. The day grew in popularity around the globe for the next several centuries. The United Nations celebrated International Women’s Day for the first time in 1975.

Nearly half a century later, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day in a world that still carries many biases toward women. Accordingly, the IWD organization has asked those recognizing the day to consider a central theme: #BreakTheBias.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we want to discuss how workplaces can #BreakTheBias and help women thrive at work and beyond.

Workplace bias looms large

The U.S. banned sex discrimination in the workplace in 1964, when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. While it’s safe to say employers have made progress since the sixties, the act has certainly not erased sexism from the workplace.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — the agency that enforces the Civil Rights Act and other federal anti-discrimination laws — received  67,448 charges of discrimination in fiscal year 2020. Charges involving sex discrimination amounted to 32% of those claims.

Those numbers tell us that sex discrimination is alive and well, even though laws banning it from the workplace have been in place for more than 50 years.

Fighting workplace discrimination

As employers grapple with the persistent force that sex discrimination is, a few best practices have emerged.

Above all, leaders must take all reports of sex discrimination seriously, investigating claims and implementing recourse as necessary. Other strategies include:

  • Creating applicant pools that feature as many women as men

  • Discluding pay history from compensation calculations

  • Normalizing mentorship and sponsorship opportunities

A challenge to support working women

Outside of these basic strategies, a company’s culture will do the heavy lifting in a company’s goal to #BreakTheBias. The pandemic highlighted this reality. Women left the workforce in droves when coronavirus caused schools and daycares. The companies who retained women were the companies who supported women with flexible working policies and ample time off.

Supporting women is not just about creating options for caregivers. Employers can also work to #BreakTheBias by highlighting women who rose to the top of their fields by creating opportunities for sponsorships and mentoring and by providing ample opportunities for advancement and learning for early career women.

To find out how PeopleBest can help your team #BreakTheBias and support your organization’s women workers, book a demo and set up a time to chat with one of our specialists.

PeopleBest is a revolutionary, simple and powerful way to capture the exact ‘DNA of success’ inside people, teams and companies