A Career as a Diversity Specialist

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Workplace diversity refers to a wide array of differences between people in an organization which can range from race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background, and more. A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management inferred that most organizations in the present socioeconomic conditions believe workplace diversity is important.

Workplace diversity ensures an environment that allows everyone to give their best to the organization. It enhances the competence of an organization by absorbing talents from a diverse background. A diversity officer conceptualizes workplace diversity programs and sees to their proper implementations to ensure smooth functioning of the body.

A diversity specialist has to strategize and execute programs that will create an environment of cultural diversity in the workplace. He liaises between the management and other units of the organization to ensure uniform diversity processes and procedures with a positive impact across all functions of the house that includes organizational effectiveness, employee development, community relations, and supplier diversity efforts. He has to make sure that the diversity policies and procedures are concurrent to state and federal law. He conducts training to edify employees and managers about understanding, accepting, and welcoming individual differences. He collaborates with the human resource unit to source outstanding candidates of diverse backgrounds to improve the balance of gender and minorities at all levels of the business. He ropes in veterans and people with disabilities in the organization. He upholds diversity building partnerships in the community. He sets metrics/scorecards to assess the success of diversity programs.

The performance of duties as diversity specialists requires you to have a 4 year Bachelors degree (B. A.) from a college or university. A bachelor's degree in public administration, human resources, psychology, labor relations or any closely related field will be perfect for this career. An advanced degree is generally preferred by the recruiters and will be handy for promotions in later years.

An aspirant for the post of a diversity specialist should have organizational, communicative, information seeking, leading, analytical, decision making, project planning, and supervisory skills. He should be accommodating and competent cross culturally as to enable individuals with diverse backgrounds and disabilities to perform the necessary tasks. He should have the ability to coordinate while doing the set of functions he needs to ensure whether they are according to the rules and regulations and meet the demands of an office environment. He should be agile enough to hold training sessions, make presentations, attend meetings, and travel whenever needed. They are required to work in a typical office setting and should be able to adjust to a traditional business environment.

He should be thorough about conducting the best practices in diversity and inclusion and have a deep commitment to diversity related issues. He should also be a team player to partner with HR Planning and other HR employees to ensure the inclusion of D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) into all talent management, benefits, and other employee management matters. He should be capable of building successful external relationships which result in increased diversity among applying candidates, increased branding, and increased market share to promote a good environment in the community by and large. He should be able to frame a matrix and assess it to calculate the rate of success of the diversity programs. Last but not the least is that as a diversity specialist you have to be patient and tolerant. While advising or counseling employees you can face rude, hostile, or unpredictable behavior sometimes.

Recruiters while hiring a diversity specialist look for 2-5 years of relevant work experience preferably with diversity programs. Candidates with experience in Human Resources along with it will be of added value. A considerable (2 – 4 years) experience in investigating discrimination complaints, developing and implementing equal opportunity, and diversity programs for an organization will be an edge over the competitors. Experience and knowledge in the trade can promote you to the position of a diversity officer or the chief diversity officer in the later years of your career.

The job scope for a diversity specialist is immense as most companies have implemented diversity policies in their corporate programs.

A chief diversity officer with experience and qualification is paid around $58,000 on average. The career of diversity specialists is tailored for you in case you seek to promote a congenial work environment in work places by accommodating people of diverse backgrounds and helping the community at large.
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