Diversity and inclusion. They’re pretty high on the business agenda these days. Not just because it’s the right thing to do. But also because diversity has been shown to positively impact companies’ financial performance, as this McKinsey research shows. But how can you achieve diversity and inclusivity? And does the localization industry have a part to play?
What is diversity?
What do we mean when we say diversity? We like Workable’s definition, which refers to a group of people that includes ‘variation in personal, physical, and social characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, age, and education.’ Ideally, a workplace should reflect the society in which it is based – whether you’re a large multinational that needs to reflect global diversity or a small organization that needs to reflect your local environment.
What is an inclusive workplace?
So a diverse workplace is one that includes a varied range of people. Meanwhile, an inclusive workplace is one where each member of the workforce feels comfortable to be themselves, whatever their identity or background. In other words, inclusivity is a means to creating a diverse workforce. But you can’t just wave a wand and magic up inclusion in the workplace. It takes work.
How can you create an inclusive workplace?
There’s a lot of research and many articles on this topic with plenty of excellent advice. For instance, this Harvard Business Review article provides five key strategies, including recognizing bias. This CIO article provides 8 best practices for changing your culture, which includes gems like establishing a sense of belonging for everyone. And this Social Chorus article includes some great advice, including one of our favorites, ‘welcome a multilingual workforce’.
Since we’re part of the language services industry, it’s this last point we’d like to focus on here. A diverse workplace likely includes native speakers of multiple languages, whether you’re based in just one country, or you have offices spread across the globe. But how can you make sure that the working environment caters to multilingualism?
How localization can help
Language is a powerful tool. If there’s a discrepancy in access to information, this can lead to misunderstandings, mistrust, and a feeling of exclusion. Remember that although staff members may be competent in your company’s de facto language, they may find it easier to receive information in or express themselves in their native language.
Translation and localization can go a long way towards fostering trust and creating a truly inclusive workplace. If you provide your team with staff guidelines in their native language, of course, they’ll understand them better. If you offer your team the opportunity to give feedback in a language they feel comfortable in, of course, they’ll be more likely to contribute. If you provide training courses in more than one language, of course, there’ll be higher uptake.
How XTRF can help
XTRF is a TMS, a Translation Management System. But we like to say Translation Made Simple. That’s because we make it quicker and easier to manage the translation or localization process. We streamline workflows and automate various stages of the process. We’re customizable, so you can tailor the system to suit your projects and specific needs. Our system itself is also available in many languages, and you can send out template emails in your clients’ preferred languages.