TOOLS FOR PRACTICING MULTICULTURALISM WITHIN ORGANISATIONS
Imagine, for a second, that an organisation in Italy wishes to practice multiculturalism. Some actions are required, as cultural pluralism will need to be measured and cultivated.
What are the tools available to recruit people with a different “cultural mindset” or, simply put, coming from other countries? How do companies observe and understand what happens as people interact within the organisation with colleagues, from different countries? How do leaders act and what happens to departments and teams as the diversity of national origin increases in the organisation?
Below is a very short and not exhaustive set of tools to engage “national origin diversity”, commonly known as “cultural pluralism/multicultural diversity”. The tools are divided into 3 categories:
• Talent acquisition
• Analytics for multicultural Diversity and Inclusion
• Assessment plus L&D for cultural competence
Mygrants: Where do you find talent pools that may be culturally diverse? The Mygrants phone app caters to trainees who are asylum seekers and refugees in Italy. With over 180.000 users, about 15% of whom are highly skilled, companies have access to a talent pool of about 20.000 high- skill profiles. Qualifications are validated through over 8000 modules of micro-tests, in 3 different languages, that certify the trainee’s level of competence. Mygrants has a dashboard called PickMe that allows companies and agencies in Italy to observe, identify and recruit the best talent for their needs. https://mygrants.it/beta-pickme/
Talent beyond Boundaries: Where do you find talent pools that may be culturally diverse? Approximately 30.000 skilled workers, including skilled trade workers. Engineers, healthcare professionals, software developers and teachers. Currently active in the UK, Canada and Australia. https://www.talentbeyondboundaries.org/
As a statistical reminder: Italy has 6.5 million legal resident foreigners, 2.5 million of whom are in the workforce. Companies can always tactically and intentionally recruit diverse
talents by recruiting foreign-origin residents or second-generation youth to enhance multicultural diversity, keeping in mind that profiles should still be assessed for their level of cultural/multicultural competence.
Being a foreigner or second-generation is not a predictor of being culturally inclusive or “multicultural”!
ANALYTICS FOR MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Diversity Atlas: How do you measure diversity in business? The tool created by Cultural Infusion, an Australian Foundation promoting cultural harmony and wellbeing, makes it easy for teams and organisations to measure and under- stand its diversity stories. The 3-minute questionnaire pro- vides data that can be visualised and allows comparisons between departments/functions and the organisation as a whole. The power of this tool lies in the ease with which an organisation can map its wealth of diversity, and not just multicultural diversity. The tool is designed to map 7 different elements: national origin, cultural heritage, languages, world- views, experiences of inclusion, demographic and attributes, as well as mutuality/representation. Diversity Atlas is poised to change the understanding of what the word “diversity”, actually means!
Aleria: How do you measure inclusion in the company? Aleria maps inclusion, not diversity. The company has developed a framework to quantify inclusion and uncover inclusion-related challenges and opportunities that exist within the organisation. “Their framework effectively categorises individual workplace experiences that affect the satisfaction, engage- ment and performance of each employee. In particular, Ale- ria looks to identify specific ‘incidents of exclusion’, i.e., negative situations that employees experience as a result of their ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical ability or other personal traits.”
L&D AND ASSESSMENT
Aperion, Globesmart: What is your level of intercultural pre- paredness? Aperion is a gold standard and global training
company focused on the deployment of expat employees, cross-cultural communication and management training. Their globesmart assessment tool is designed to understand the level of inclusion within international teams, so it mainly deals with the ability to manage multicultural teams. https:// www.globesmart.com/inclusive-behaviours-inventory/ Intercultural Development Index (IDI): What is your level of intercultural preparedness? Another classic in the field of multiculturalism. The IDI is a 50-item psychometric tool based on the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). It is useful for personal development and self-awareness, audience analysis, organisational assessment and development, and data-based intercultural training. The IDI generates a graphic profile of an individual›s or group›s predominant stage of development, go- ing from denial, polarisation and minimisation to acceptance and adaptation.
Cultural Intelligence scale: What is your level of intercultural preparedness? Cultural intelligence (CQ) refers to a set of capabilities considered important for successful inter- cultural interaction. CQ examines national, ethnic, and organisational cultures and focuses on the skills needed to succeed internationally and in domestic multicultural environments. The CQS is a 20-item self-assessment scale that is a step ahead of other tools, as it examines four factors and their interrelationships: the level of inter- est, knowledge, motivation, and ability to adapt behaviour when facing “other” culture situations.
Cultural Detective: How do you practice intercultural skills? A classic database of cross-cultural encounters that includes country cases for over 50 countries, written by cross-cultural practitioners. A great tool to activate and practice cross-cultural understanding in classrooms.