How Investing in a Remote Workforce can Improve Diversity Efforts

The positive effects of diversity on an organization’s performance are clear: it can lead to better decisions and innovation, and it can help improve the company’s competitive advantage. Over the past few years, various companies worldwide have started implementing policies to improve their workforce’s diversity.

Unfortunately, many companies still face challenges when implementing their diversity policies. One of these is the lack of diversity in a talent pool. This issue has become more prevalent over the past couple of years. Remote work can be a great solution to this problem.

As more companies adopt remote work policies, they must consider the importance of diversity in their workforce. Here are three ways remote work can help them realize the benefits of having a diverse workforce.

ACCESS TO DIFFERENT POPULATIONS

One of the most important advantages of remote work is its ability to expand a company’s hiring options. This is especially beneficial for small businesses that may have difficulty finding qualified candidates.

Through remote work, a company can also build a stronger talent pool and expand its scope of operations. This can be very beneficial when it comes to planning for the future.

Unfortunately, many companies still face challenges when it comes to hiring and retaining diverse talent. This is especially true for positions that require a certain amount of experience.

FINDING OVERLOOKED POTENTIAL RECRUITS

During the pandemic, the Covid employees were able to gain a deeper understanding of how they can perform their best work in various ways. Those who were able to work flexible hours were able to thrive.

Companies that adopt remote work policies can accommodate the needs of different underrepresented groups. For instance, an employee with a disability may be able to work from home with great results.

Having a diverse workforce can help a company develop and grow. It can also help them attract and retain the best talent. By providing a remote work option, they can benefit from the experiences and skills of individuals they would not typically find in a traditional search.

IMPROVES ENGAGEMENT AND INCLUSION

It’s also important that executives take the time to create an inclusive environment for all employees. This can help them attract and retain the best talent. Ensuring employees feel free to be themselves is the key to making diversity a successful business driver.

One of the most important factors that a company should consider when it comes to creating an inclusive environment for all employees is ensuring that everyone is free to be themselves.

BUILDING THE RIGHT TEAM

One of the most effective ways to find new talent is by establishing employee resource groups. These groups can help support team members and provide a way for employees to connect with other organizations that are different from their own.

Although it can be challenging to create a positive work environment with remote workers, it’s worth the effort. By providing a variety of flexible work options, companies can find the ideal individuals with the skills and experience they need.

This article was originally posted on Russ Ewell’s website.

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Promoting Diverse Leadership at Your Business

As the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace continues to be acknowledged by many businesses, it becomes vital that more diverse individuals are in leadership positions.

The individuals at the top influence the culture of a company. If you are committed to creating an environment that is more inclusive and diverse, then you need to make sure that the various aspects of the organization are reflected in the hiring and promotion of diverse candidates. This goes beyond just hiring individuals of color. It also includes implementing processes that will help prepare employees for leadership roles in the future.

In this article, we will discuss the various benefits of diverse representation in the leadership ranks and how you can implement strategies to improve your organization’s diversity.

Skills to Look for in New Leaders

In addition to being able to speak and understand various languages, diversity, and cultural leadership skills are also critical when hiring and promoting new leaders. These four competencies can help you identify the ideal candidate for your company.

CONSIDERS ALL PERSPECTIVES

One of the most essential characteristics of a leader is their ability to identify the various perspectives that are missing from the team. This can help them find ways to improve the quality of the discussion.

TAKES ACTION

As diversity and inclusion practices within your organization change, inclusive leaders must be willing to adapt to these changes. They must take the necessary steps to accommodate new ideas and suggestions.

IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS

An inclusive leader is willing to acknowledge and call out harmful or oppressive practices being perpetuated within the organization.

How to Increase Diversity in Leadership 

TARGETED DIVERSITY TRAINING

Many companies require employees to take various diversity training courses throughout their careers. However, one of the most overlooked aspects of this strategy is the importance of leadership-focused training. This is because, depending on the level of responsibility that the employees have, they may have varying responsibilities when it comes to promoting and implementing diversity within their teams.

To ensure that your existing diversity training programs are effective, consider offering specialized workshops or courses designed for specific roles.

OFFER EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

Unfortunately, many employees from disadvantaged backgrounds do not have the necessary skills to be successful in their chosen careers. This is why you must establish a workforce education program that allows employees to earn various certifications and degrees while working. This type of program can help you attract and retain diverse candidates.

MENTORSHIP PROGRAMS

Although mentorship programs are a familiar concept, they are often overlooked or underused. This program can help promote diversity within your organization by allowing employees to develop their leadership skills.

One of the most effective ways to establish a mentorship program is to pair experienced managers and executives with junior employees. This will allow them to develop their soft skills and prepare them for leadership positions.

The increasing number of diverse candidates in today’s workforce has made it more critical than ever that you establish effective diversity programs and systems in place. These will allow you to attract and develop diverse leaders.

This article was originally published on Russ Ewell’s website.

How Companies Can Use Data to Advance Diversity

 Due to the rise of data-driven technology, few areas in the workplace are not benefitting from data-driven change. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives can also benefit from this increased reliance on data.

There are several things you can do to ensure that your efforts are sustainable. However, before you start implementing data-driven change, it’s crucial that you first ask the right questions and gather information. Here are some steps to take to get started.

COLLECT INFORMATION

There are many kinds of information that can be used to create a DEI program; for example, you can examine the demographic data of your employees to find gaps in the diversity, and inclusion of individuals based on their characteristics. This type of data can be found in already existing workforce records.

Although you may initially focus on one area of the organization where you can make a significant impact, be open to exploring other areas where there are gaps, for instance, focusing on the diversity numbers may not provide you with the necessary insight into the individuals leaving the company.

One of the most important steps that you can take to ensure that your efforts are sustainable is to benchmark every level of the organization. This will allow you to identify areas where there are gaps and where there is a glass ceiling.

CREATE OBJECTIVES

Failing to address the problems that were discovered during the data collection process can lead to the appearance of a lack of commitment to diversity. Setting goals based on the collected information and pursuing them will show that the program is real and will help employees feel that it is supported.

Before setting goals, it’s important that you first identify problem areas. For instance, a lack of diverse leadership positions may be caused by factors such as the lower promotion rates and the lack of women and minorities in the organization.

Setting goals that are aspirational rather than strict quotas are important to creating an ethical program. In a recent ruling, the US Supreme Court stated that quotas are unconstitutional.

CREATE A SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY

Although it’s legal to set a goal of increasing the number of employees of a certain race, don’t rely on the individuals’ characteristics to determine the number of positions. Instead, focus on broadening the pool of candidates and finding talent in different regions.

One of the most effective ways to expand the pool of candidates is by committing to interview a certain number of individuals from underrepresented groups. Doing so will allow you to avoid setting a legal obligation that may violate the law.

Consider incentivizing your leadership teams to complete DEI goals, which has been shown to have positive results.

Following these steps will help you establish an effective DEI program with concrete goals for improving your company.

This article was originally posted on Russ Ewell’s blog.

Why Providing Diversity and Sensitivity Training Is Important

While ignoring the necessity of diversity training in the workplace can be tempting, it is an important tool for retaining a diverse and thriving company. Companies can connect with customers on all levels with employees from different backgrounds and perspectives. The following are some ways that providing diversity and sensitivity training for employees can benefit a company.

1. Awareness of Employee Protections

Diversity and sensitivity training go a long way towards ensuring that employees are aware of their rights as workers. By providing activities, employees acquire a basic understanding of how to handle discrimination and harassment in the workplace and how to protect themselves from it.

2. Improves Efficiency

It helps improve efficiency in companies by allowing diverse teams to be composed and set up. Companies can draw from each individual’s unique skills and abilities by focusing on people from different backgrounds. These unique strengths can help improve productivity in a company, leading to better communication between various departments and business divisions.


3. Improving Communication Skills

For employees to communicate effectively, they need to be aware of their own biases and the biases of others. Providing junior members within a company with diversity and sensitivity training helps them understand the different cultures and backgrounds of each other. This helps them build effective relationships with co-workers from different backgrounds and cultures, leading to improved communication amongst the whole team.

4. Improves Company Culture

Providing diversity and sensitivity training for employees will help a company build its own culture, which will in turn help attract new customers and retain loyal ones. By creating a culture open to all kinds of people, a company will provide its employees with the training they need to function in an environment that encourages diversity.

5. Achieving Better Organizational Goals

Companies that provide diversity and sensitivity training to their employees can achieve their organizational goals. By providing diverse teams with practical training, departments can more efficiently communicate and work together in a combined effort to achieve goals within a company.

Diversity and sensitivity training are crucial for companies to succeed in the modern age. By providing employees with this training, businesses can ensure that their employees are informed of their rights as workers and that they are aware of the different cultures and backgrounds of other company members. This can help improve efficiency in a company and create a more effective working environment for employees.

This article was originally posted on Russ Ewell’s website.

Best Podcasts About Autism

There are a lot of podcasts out there and a lot of subjects. But if one or someone they care for has autism, they’ll be relieved to know that the internet is also full of good podcasts about different perspectives on autism. Here are some free best podcasts about autism.

1. Autism Uncensored

“Autism Uncensored” is a podcast that builds awareness of autism by giving voice to parents, teachers, clinicians, and autistic adults. Although there are voices of autistic adults in this podcast, it is generally geared toward parents and educators.

2. The Thinking Person’s Guide To Autism

The Thinking Person’s Guide To Autism, or TPGTA, is a podcast that focuses on the idea of living with autism. Hosted by Jeff DeSantis, this podcast is designed to be informative and educational for parents, educators, and those with a family member on the spectrum. DeSantis has great empathy for the challenges faced by families who have children on the spectrum.

3. The Autism Show

The Autism Show is a podcast for parents, professionals, and individuals with autism, who are looking for information. The staff behind “The Autism Show” says that one of their missions is to stay out of the “autism wars.” They don’t take sides on behavioral or medical issues and instead strive to source non-biased information.

4. The Acast

The Acast is a podcast network that allows experts and regular listeners to share their opinions, stories, and insights on a wide range of subjects. One of their biggest focuses is giving people with autism a voice in educational and developmental issues. The staff behind “The Acast” believes it’s important that there be two or more sides to any issue, and they strive to give people with autism a chance to speak up.

5. The Podcast for Humans

Although some of the topics discussed in “The Podcast for Humans” are weighty and serious, they do have a funny side from time to time. The show is hosted by Matt Parker and Jenny Jaffe, who has been around autism for over a decade. Their approach to the issues on the show might be a bit unorthodox at times, but that’s part of its charm.

Conclusion

With the help of these best podcasts about autism, it’s easy to find information and support for someone dealing with autism. Whether they are trying to find a diagnosis or seeking advice on different therapies, these podcasts can help.

This article was originally published on Russ Ewell’s blog.

Tips for Helping Neurodivergent and Neurotypical Children Get Along

While neurodiverse children need a diverse and individualized education tailored to their unique way of thinking and learning, neurotypical children are considered the norm. This is because they can think and act like other children. This difference in neurological proclivities can be challenging in a sibling relationship, especially if one is on the autistic spectrum while the other is not.

Here are 3 tips to help parents support their child’s relationship with one another despite their different neurological profiles:

Tip #1: Balance Out Attention-Seeking

Many parents spend their time and energy trying to find a cure for autism, leaving neurotypical children out of the conversation and feeling ignored. Family members and specialists may pay less attention to them, which can lead to a sense of invisibility. To make each child feel loved and appreciated, make quality time for each of them separately.

Tip #2: Avoid Making a Big Deal Out of Their Differences

According to child psychologists, the goal of raising a child is to help them develop as an individual so they will be able to grow into self-sufficient adults. One way to do this is by avoiding discussing the differences between siblings. Instead, assume that this difference is perfectly normal.

Children should be taught how to deal with the difference between them by their parents, so they can better understand the world. As they grow up, children learn new things about themselves all the time, and their minds are constantly changing. By not elaborating on the difference between each child, they’ll both be able to handle more complex thoughts and emotions as they mature.

It is a mistake to make a big deal out of the autism of one child or the normalcy of the other. Parents should instead give each child the love and attention they need based on their psychological and neurological perspectives.

Tip #3: Be a Good Listener

Siblings should be encouraged to be more aware of accepting one another. Siblings who are not close because they think and behave differently may each feel like they are deprived of something their sibling has. As a result, they can develop jealousy and resentment, causing them to argue. As it’s important for siblings to share their lives with one another and support one another’s choices in life, parents should learn to be good listeners-giving each child the attention they need to feel understood and appreciated.     

This article was originally published on Russ Ewell’s blog.

10 of the Best Special Needs Organizations

This post is about some of the best organizations for individuals with special needs. The focus will be on charitable, educational organizations that help people with disabilities or learn skills to modify them to integrate more easily in our society.

1. Hope Technology School (HTS)

HTS is a nonprofit organization in San Diego, California. This organization trains people with Autism or other developmental disorders to be help desk technicians for national computer companies. The work enables adults to learn how to communicate and function normally in the workplace and become more employable by regular companies.

2. E-Sports Learning and Development Center (ESLD)

ESLD is a program that trains individuals with disabilities in video games. The students learn to play a variety of games, including those based on Super Smash Brothers and Call of Duty.

3. Special Olympics

Special Olympics offers sports training for people with disabilities and holds competitions worldwide to promote social acceptance of people with special needs.

4. AbilityFirst

Ability First is based in Manitou Springs, Colorado, and focuses on helping adults who have Autism become trainable, so they will be able to integrate with other people in their communities more easily. Ability First also provides programs that teach adults how to live safely and independently.

5. Inclusive Technology

Inclusive Technology is a non-profit organization that aims to make computers available to those who are unable to afford them. This organization provides low-cost computers and works with public schools to train teachers to use them in the classroom effectively.

6. Texas A&M Aggie ACHIEVE

The Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College (Aggie ACHIEVE) is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with disabilities to integrate more easily into society. This organization trains people with disabilities to use computers and software for businesses and their own needs.

7. AUMI

AUMI is an organization that provides people with special needs, such as those with Autism, to work in the specialty industry. The work includes lab work and assembly for companies that manufacture computer parts.

8. Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities

CCD is based in Washington, D.C., and provides resources for parents, children, and adults with disabilities. The consortium helps to provide resources and information to help families, individuals with special needs, and their communities.

9. Paralyzed Veterans of America

The Paralyzed Veterans of America is a worldwide organization that works to help veterans who have paralysis or another disability which affects their mobility. The organization provides advocacy and support to individuals with special needs.

10. Parents Helping Parents

Parents Helping Parents (PHP) is a nonprofit organization that assists families of children with special needs and education for parents to support their children. They also promote advocacy for children with special needs. PHP also works to help parents of children with special needs to understand their rights as parents.

Conclusion

These organizations help not only people with disabilities but also society at large by promoting greater acceptance and inclusion of people who have disabilities. These organizations are helping to change society’s views so that society can be more accepting, open, and welcoming to people who have disabilities.

This article was originally published on Russ Ewell’s blog.

Tips for Handling Your Child’s Meltdown

A child’s meltdown can quickly change a peaceful afternoon into a nightmare. New parents may struggle to find the right way to handle the meltdown that decreases its chances of happening in the future. While no child is the same, here are a few great tips that can be adjusted to fit a variety of children and their needs.

Learn the child’s triggers

Children can often become overstimulated by various situations, noises, or people. They may not want to do certain activities or chores and feel anxious about spending time outside of the home. Any emotion can develop into a meltdown. Parents should take the time to spot patterns in their child’s behavior that might indicate what is causing an emotional reaction.

By limiting instances that cause uncomfortable feelings and encouraging healthy, clear ways of communicating, parents can recognize when their child needs a break. Learning these cues will also help teachers at school, grandparents, and babysitters to better understand what they can do to help the child feel safe and communicate their feelings.

Establish a reward system

A reward system can be utilized to encourage the right behaviors without discouraging the child. Tokens are a great way to barter with children who want to be rewarded. Tokens can be given for displaying the right behaviors like cleaning up and being honest.

Children should feel encouraged to earn more tokens without fearing being denied tokens. For example, every good action no matter how small should be rewarded. If a child does poorly at school and brings home a bad grade, they should still receive a small reward for showing the assignment to their parents instead of hiding it.

Maintain rules and boundaries

Parents may struggle to maintain the rules when they don’t seem to initially work. A child may be upset they’re not getting enough tokens to do what they want or end up having a meltdown anyway. By staying calm and maintaining the established rules, the parent can successfully manage their child’s emotions. Meltdowns, fits, and tantrums will still happen even if the parent knows all their child’s triggers. Remaining steadfast and empathetic are great ways to connect and work with a child.          

This article was originally published on Russ Ewell’s blog.

Google’s New App Strives To Help People With Speech Impairments

Google has introduced a new app designed to help people with speech impairments, to help them communicate more easily. The Voice Access app has been designed to recognize users’ voices and speak for them. The app aims to function as a speech-to-text service, allowing users to use their voices instead of typing words on their phones. This blog post will discuss Google’s attempt to make it easier for people with speech disorders and impairments to use their phones.

Google Voice Access

Voice Access became available on Android phones on Tuesday, following an announcement made by Sundar Pichai, Google’s vice president of product management, at the recently held I/O conference. Voice Access comprises a smart search bar that gives users an option to select a voice command that would work best for them. By tapping on the microphone icon at the bottom of the search bar, users can activate Google Assistant. Once the app is activated, it will recognize what is said and respond accordingly. The app’s interface can also be customized to suit the user’s preferences to match the color scheme of their Android phone.

Project Relate app

This app is similar to Google’s Voice Access, but it does not require users to enable Google Assistant. It operates similarly to Voice Access by allowing users to enter a command and then optionally send that information as a text or voice message to another person. The app allows users to communicate with their family and friends, as well as with mail service providers like Gmail and Outlook. This can help people with speech disorders to communicate with others more easily.

Practical Applications

Although these apps will not completely change the way people communicate, they have many practical applications. For example, Voice Access can be a great way for people with speech impairments to make phone calls, as it will allow them to use their voices instead of having to type out the different characters they want. Additionally, frequent texting is also a big part of modern-day communication, and so this app can help people with speech disorders to communicate with others more easily.

Conclusion

Although these apps will not completely change the way people communicate, they have many practical applications. For example, Voice Access can be a great way for people with speech impairments to make phone calls, as it will allow them to use their voices instead of having to type out the different characters they want.

This article was originally published on Russ Ewell’s blog.

How To Make Holiday Parties Easier for Children on the Autism Spectrum

As the holiday season inches nearer and nearer, so do the various gatherings, shopping trips, and traditions that accompany the season. Although each of these can be sources of great joy and connection, chances are they also bring a little stress along with them. For families with children on the autism spectrum, the holidays likely even present a range of new challenges and experiences. In order to create the most stress-free, enjoyable holiday season, families can take several steps to benefit their child’s individual needs.

Getting Started

A great place to start is to set expectations reasonably and communicate with family and guests. As a parent, this might mean carefully considering what traditions to keep, and accepting that some things will have to be done differently. Not all previous family traditions may work with a child’s needs, but there are likely some special ones that can remain, or even be altered in new and creative ways. The best thing to do is keep an open mind and set expectations reasonably.

Consulting Guests

Once the parents set expectations, they can reach out to family and guests to inform them of any adjustments. This might take the form of a well-thought-out email or text to party-goers, explaining what to expect and how to best support the child’s needs.

Planning for your Child

As the party approaches, families can make the experience easier for their children by planning for their preferences ahead of time. Having a designated “settle-down spot,” for example, can be a great resource for children on the spectrum to help calm themselves if things get too overwhelming. Keeping tangible toys around, being mindful of volume levels, and providing headphones can all be critical tools for keeping your child calm and content as well. Even planning alternative food options can be a great idea, as holiday foods can be foreign and stressful in comparison to your child’s normal dietary preferences.

Enjoy the Party

The last and most important things families with children on the autism spectrum can do is remember the main purpose of the holidays: to spend joyful time with family. Practicing gratitude this season might mean giving your child breaks and focusing on what they love about the season. After all is said and done, enjoy the party, and know that you have cultivated the best holiday experience for your child.

This article was originally published on Russ Ewell’s blog.