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March 7, 2023

Moving The Needle

Today’s blog is the 6th installation of the DEI series. Over the past few months, we have been discussing issues surrounding asking for help, specifically in the workplace. Previously, we have talked about why people should ask for help and why people are hesitant to ask for help.  In our last blog, we discussed the differences between privileged groups of people and underrepresented groups. Acknowledging the societal and social factors that play into privilege (or lack thereof) is an important first step in recognizing where interventions need to be put in place. Click here to view our last blog and see more specific examples.

In this blog, we are continuing that discussion by looking at specific strategies for how a company can intervene and begin to actually move the needle when it comes to Equity and Inclusion, not just Diversity. Keep reading to see our list of the 5 most effective equity and inclusion strategies.


If you have been following along with this blog series, you may be feeling down about the current status of DEI efforts in workplaces. The good news is that progress is actually still happening. The first true step to any DEI initiative is to ensure that you have a diverse workforce. While diversity in the workplace is improving, the progress is slow. There is still a long way to go. 

Built In reports that while the younger generations (like millennials and gen Z) who are joining the workforce rapidly are the most diverse generation to date, the diversity stats in the workplace are lagging to represent the new status quo. For instance, “77 percent of the U.S. workforce is made up of white people. Hispanic or Latinx people make up 18 percent of the workforce, Black people make up around 13 percent of the workforce and Asian people make up about 6 percent of the workforce, as of 2020.” 

However, “Generation Z is the most racially diverse U.S. generation, with more than 48 percent identifying as non-white.” And Gen Z isn’t alone in their diversity - millennials are 16% more diverse than baby boomers, with only 56% of millennials being reported as “white” versus 75% of baby boomers being reported as “white”.

Clearly, U.S. workplaces have not reached a level of diversity in the workplace that reflects the diversity that exists here. In another example, here is a quote from a World Economic Forum report regarding gender diversity.

“In 2022, the global gender gap has been closed by 68.1%. At the current rate of progress, it will take 132 years to reach full parity. This represents a slight four-year improvement compared to the 2021 estimate (136 years to parity). However, it does not compensate for the generational loss which occurred between 2020 and 2021: according to trends leading up to 2020, the gender gap was set to close within 100 years.”

So overall, organizations are becoming more diverse, however progress is slow when it comes to executive roles, board seats, promotions, equitable salaries and career advancement opportunities. Take a look at our previous blog here to read some interesting details from this Deloitte report talking about gender diversity in leadership levels of organizations.


The attention on Diversity is important, but there is not enough attention on Equity and Inclusion. So, how do we push forward to the next step, beyond simply diverse hiring methods? How can we build diversity in executive roles, career opportunities and promotions?

As we spoke about in depth in our prior blog (read it here), underrepresented groups (1) have deficient social networks that do not allow them to reach people of privilege, (2) which further removes them from accessing the breadth of experience and knowledge of more privileged groups, and (3) underrepresented groups typically ask less questions. 

One huge barrier to equity and inclusion is that the underrepresented workers don’t have access to the knowledge, experience, and advice they need.  While mentorship programs can be a huge help here, they do not solve the problem in its entirety.  Mentorship programs suffer when it comes to the logistics;  finding the right mentor/mentee matches, balancing needs and expectations for each party, inequity amongst the experience and knowledge of each individual mentor, major time commitment for managing the program, and thus the process can be pretty inefficient. 

Additionally, underrepresented groups often do not feel psychologically safe enough to ask for help (whether that be to peers or people of higher power/standing within the company). The result is further alienation for underrepresented workers from the majority ingroup. While there are a myriad of reasons why this group asks less questions, the top 3 reasons are; (1) they don’t know how to ask for help from more privileged workers, (2) they don’t know how to overcome the fear of asking for help, and (3) they don’t have a safe place to ask for help. 


Below is our list of the 5 most effective strategies for improving equity and inclusion for underrepresented groups in your workplace.

1- Help underrepresented groups grow their social network (i.e. “social capital).

As the world continues to settle into a new virtual standard, employees are losing the opportunity to create “informal” connections with their colleagues that they would regularly see in the office. Unfortunately, underrepresented groups were lacking in this department before the world even went virtual. Now, it is even more important to prioritize employee bonding and connections.  team bonding activity like our Reciprocity Ring is a great way to teach people how to build their social capital and to connect new employees to one another. Givitas is a great way to scale the building of social capital and increase your informal network connections

2- Focus some efforts on creating a safe place for everyone (but especially underrepresented groups) to ask for help.

Everyone faces hesitations when asking for help (see specifics here), but as we have established, the underrepresented groups face even larger fears (see specifics here). Identify where there may be hesitations and find strategies to help people work through their fears! Givitas creates a safe place where people can ask for help, especially when they don’t know who to ask.  

3- It is imperative to teach underrepresented employees how to overcome the fear of asking for help.

Start by identifying what causes the fears, and beginning to breakdown the risks associated with those fears. (Most people will find that their fears around asking for help are actually self-inflicted, read more about the intricacies around these fears here).  The Reciprocity Ring is a dynamic group exercise that is focused on helping people overcome their fear of asking for help.

4- It is important to relay the importance of why and how people should be asking for help.

Companies need to ensure that their employees hone the skill of asking for help and encourage them to practice! 

5- Make it easy and efficient for privileged groups to give help to the underrepresented.

Especially in a virtual workplace (but still true with in-person settings) it is imperative that you make asking for and giving help easy and efficient. This is where our Givitas  application comes into play, offering a platform for this exact issue! Givitas also makes it easy and efficient to help others, to help avoid generosity burnout. Read our blog here to learn what it is and how to avoid it)


To be truly successful at improving equity and inclusion, we need to monitor and measure the actions and the progress. As the old adage goes, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”.  

Perception is not reality when it comes to inclusion and belonging. Inclusion is not just “I feel like I am included”. Real inclusion means that everyone (especially the underrepresented) are truly in a collaborative, supportive, respectful environment that increases participation and contribution from all. (This can be measured scientifically! Schedule a demo with us to learn more about our network maps) Additionally, when it comes to equity, we need to help underrepresented groups overcome the disparities that exist so we have a fair playing field.  We must focus our attention on creating opportunities for all to participate, develop, and advance.


Underrepresented groups need a psychologically safe place to ask for help, information, and advice. Teaching the underrepresented why to ask for help, how to ask for help, how to overcome the fear of asking for help, and providing a safe place for them to ask questions is step 1. Step 2 starts with giving the underrepresented access to those that have the knowledge, skills, and experience. Making it easy and efficient for those that have the knowledge and experience to share it with those that need it.  

Here at Give and Take Inc., our solutions solve that problem! The Reciprocity Ring teaches people why and how to ask for help, and helps them overcome the fear of asking. Our purpose-built application Givitas creates a safe place for them to ask for help, allows the knowledge collaboration to scale across the organization, and makes it easy and efficient for people to provide the help. Whether your employees are looking for help doing their job, developing their career, or need help with something outside of work, Givitas creates a safe space where all employees have an equal playing field and can feel psychologically safe to submit their requests for help. And being an inclusive and equitable community, everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the sharing of knowledge by others in the community.

Givitas gives employees access to the entire workforce and removes silos and power struggles. Just as an example, we have seen entry level employees engaging with c-suite members which leads to more openness, more generosity, and an overall sense of belonging. The Reciprocity Ring and Givitas are the next steps in any DEI initiative to ensure that you harness the power of diversity by creating an inclusive and equitable environment.  Without inclusion and equity, DEI efforts will not provide the opportunities to a diverse workforce that they deserve and will not provide the value to the organization that a diverse workforce brings.

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