- August 19, 2022
- By Joshua Reid
- Advice , Company Structure , Diversity, Equity and Inclusion , Generation Z
- company , diversity initiative , gen z , generation , generation z , post covid , post pandemic
How Will Diversity Initiatives Help Gen Z in the Business Environment?
As the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world, one group of people that found themselves at the epicenter of a social, economic, and political change was Gen-Z. The pandemic shifted Gen Z’s education online, usually through Zoom or Google Meet. For Gen Z employees in the workforce prior to the pandemic, it not only changed how they performed their duties but could also change how they engaged in the workforce in a post-COVID era.
Gen Z has an exciting role to play for businesses that have created diversity initiatives. With a generation that grew up in a time of advancing technology, Gen Z also shows an interest in their country’s social, economic and political sides. Taking into account the turmoil that erupted in the wake of summer 2020, Gen Z (particularly those in high school, college or in a post-graduate state) can bring the diverse and unique perspectives that companies may have previously lacked.
In an article by GreenBiz titled, “Why Gen Z voices matter in making business sustainable,” author Isabel LoDuca notes that among other interests that Gen Z focus on like honesty and transparency, human rights, and environment, one of the “core beliefs” is diversity, equity and inclusion. According to LoDuca, Gen Z expects diversity, equity, and inclusion to be embraced by brands and that promoting DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) is a “critical aspect of a successful company” (LoDuca).
“Based on actionable initiatives, Gen Z wants companies to have diverse voices in leadership, equal pay, and fair opportunities for all.”Isabel LoDuca
In a post-COVID era, a diversity initiative will help Gen Z in the business environment. It will allow Gen Z employees to have their voices heard and show businesses some actions they could take that could help improve the business and push it into the future. Gen Z is the future of the business workforce, so why not start now and have them be a part of the diversity initiative? A diversity initiative could help Gen Z not only focus on the things that “speak to them” but also give businesses a way to connect and engage with the next generation.
A diversity initiative, however, shouldn’t just be focused on filling a “quota” for a specific demographic the business fails to reach, but also on ensuring that the business’ employees feel emotionally, physically and mentally safe. For example, for Gen Z, who have had to weather the trials of the pandemic, the ability of a business to make them feel safe emotionally, physically, and mentally is an utmost priority.
Subsequently, a diversity initiative can help Gen Z in the ever-changing business landscape through a business’s ability to be transparent with its employees. One step for a diversity initiative is transparency when dealing with Gen Z employees and how they can bring their skills to the collective whole.
“Transparency in a digital age sets great companies apart from all others. In an age of skepticism and misinformation, transparency at all operation levels is crucial for building brand loyalty and trust with the Gen Z market segment.”Isabel LoDuca
A business that is willing to become introspective and implement a diversity initiative that deals with DEI issues could be a company that succeeds both financially but also corporately. Transparency not only eases some potential Gen Z fears but also allows businesses the opportunity to have a diversity initiative where they can look ahead. It allows a company to see their weaknesses and begin to strengthen them; to see the trends within a particular market and have Gen Z utilize their technological and digital skills to help businesses market towards that niche.
Diversity initiatives help Gen Z in the business environment by allowing them to expand their technological and digital skills and hear from diverse voices. Even though Gen Z is culturally and ethnically diverse, they too have their biases, so diversity initiatives can also help GenZ in the business workplace by having them confront those biases.
LoDuca, Isabel. “Why Gen Z voices matter in making business sustainable.” GreenBiz, 19 October 2020.