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4 Common Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Challenges and Best Solutions

Published by MyAnova

12 February 2024

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace has become an important factor for organisational success, so why is it still so hard to get right?!

In this blog, we will delve into common hurdles organisations face and provide insights, solutions, and real-world examples of companies that have successfully navigated these challenges to build more robust, inclusive cultures.

Common People Challenges:

1. The Unaware and Slightly Resistant One

We all know someone like this. The white male who doesn’t see how women might be slightly worse off. The person who pushes back on quotas. Some employees may resist diversity and inclusion initiatives due to a lack of understanding or awareness.

Solution: Launch comprehensive awareness campaigns, training programmes, and workshops to educate employees about the benefits of diversity and inclusion to help better bring them along on the journey.

2. The One Who Doesn’t Understand Unconscious Bias

Almost everyone has biases, whether you like it or not, but unconscious biases can impact decision-making processes, hindering diversity efforts

Solution: Implement bias training and encourage open discussions to raise awareness and address unconscious biases. Use tools and technologies designed to minimise bias in hiring and promotion processes.

3. The Traditional Leader

Have you ever met someone who struggles to embrace inclusive behaviours, often sticking to outdated leadership models that overlook diversity and inclusion? That’s the Traditional Leader one.

Solution: Provide leadership training focused on diversity and inclusion. Create a culture that values and rewards inclusive leadership through performance evaluations and promotions.

4. The One Who’s Underrepresented

Imagine being the One Who’s Underrepresented in the workplace – like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. There's simply not enough representation that echoes their unique identity and experiences, and they struggle to find their place within the organisation's hierarchy, feeling overlooked and undervalued.

Solution: Actively work towards increasing representation through targeted recruitment strategies. Establish mentorship programmes to support the growth and development of underrepresented employees.

Learning from the pros – How do others overcome these challenges?


Salesforce established a Chief Equality Officer position to drive diversity and inclusion efforts. The company regularly conducts pay equity reviews and has committed to closing any identified gaps.

“Driving systemic change is one of the most important things we can do to build a more equal world. I’ve seen how systemic barriers in the workplace can lead to exclusion and unequal access and can prevent individuals from reaching their highest potential.” – Lori Castillo Martinez, Chief Equality Officer, Salesforce.

Dell Technologies:

Dell has made significant strides in promoting inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Their True Ability Employee Resource Group advocates for accessibility and inclusivity, ensuring that the workplace is accommodating for all employees.

American Express:

Known for its commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion, American Express has consistently scored high on LGBTQ+ equality indexes. The company actively supports LGBTQ+ employees through inclusive policies and employee resource groups.

“Our first diversity, equity, and inclusion report underscores this commitment by taking a comprehensive look at our DE&I efforts and providing transparency to our stakeholders on our progress, while also acknowledging that we still have more to do toward our goal of driving meaningful change both inside and outside the company.” Stephen J. Squeri, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, American Express.


Navigating diversity and inclusion resistance in the workplace requires a comprehensive approach, encompassing education, leadership commitment, and strategic initiatives. By learning from successful examples and implementing best practices, organisations can overcome challenges and create workplaces that celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and ultimately drive innovation and success.

Elevate workplace culture with Anova's data-driven insights. Measure, analyse, and improve inclusivity effortlessly with our Inclusion and Belonging Survey Template. Email us today to explore how Anova can help your organisation thrive.

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