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The numbers game

Walk out into the main workplace of your business. Go on. Get up and walk out there right now. Maybe you’re walking into a cubicle farm or onto a shop floor; doesn’t matter. Now look around. What do you see? If you see a lot of people and faces that look exactly like you, your workforce may be suffering from a lack of diversity. But how can you tell for sure?

The Diversity and Inclusion Index is a new tool being offered by the owners of My Halifax Experience as an aid to help businesses of all sizes figure out how diverse their workforce really is.

“It’s a tool, an application, a portal that helps employers measure how diverse their workplace is,” says Ifeanyi Emesih, founder of My Halifax Experience. “It’s as simple as that.”

Greater diversity can improve the bottom line. A more diverse workforce helps foster innovation via a greater variety of perspectives being brought to bear on challenge. It can help a company in developing new markets and expanding the possible talent pool when recruiting to fill positions.

Diversity also makes your workplace more attractive to possible candidates, helping companies secure a better caliber of employee.

“The goal of the Diversity and Inclusion Index is to promote transparency, diversity, and economic change,” Emesih says. “We recognize that it isn’t always easy for a company to come out with this type of information, so our first goal is to have companies go through this process for their own good. Any public disclosure of their results is up to them and can come later.”

The Index focuses on:

  1. Ethnicity
  2. Gender
  3. Disability
  4. Religion
  5. Age
  6. Education
  7. Internships and co-op positions

Taken together, these factors provide a balanced view of a company’s diversity. If a company doesn’t have a lot of older workers, for example, it may score well in terms of ethnic backgrounds or gender distribution, thus still producing a strong result.

“The system is made to stay positive and not shame anyone. Each score comes with an analysis of where you are, where you can go and how you can get there,” Emesih says.

Beyond just being a good corporate citizen, there are some extremely practical reasons for examining workforce diversity. Any company that competes for government contracts has at one time or another run across diversity requirements. The Diversity and Inclusion Index provides an objective, third party diversity assessment that can help companies prove they meet such requirements and thus aid in securing government business.

“The Index helps create awareness and promotes conversations that lead us, as managers of the portal, to present you with tools to become more diverse as your company moves forward,” Emesih says.

The application will be officially launched on November 12. Find it at myhalifaxexperience.com.

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