There is a growing body of evidence that suggests workplace diversity can have a positive impact on the performance and success of companies (Gomez, Bernet, 2019).
Given the vital role that women play in the workforce, employers must create an inclusive environment where all women feel comfortable and supported (Thomas et al., 2021).
A key part of this is ensuring that mental health and wellbeing provision takes into account the needs of ethnically diverse women. This can be a challenge, as there is often a lack of awareness and understanding of the unique pressures and experiences that ethnically diverse women face (Catalyst, 2018).
Business in the Community’s Mental Health at Work survey found that almost one in two Black, Asian and other ethnic minority employees have experienced poor mental health where work was a contributing factor, compared to the one in two overall average of non-ethnic minority colleagues (BITC, 2019).
So what can employers do to create a workplace that supports the mental health and well-being of ethnically diverse women in their workforce?
First, it is important to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected. This means promoting open communication, encouraging employees to share their experiences and perspectives, and creating opportunities for employees from different backgrounds to interact with each other.
Second, employers should provide training on unconscious bias and cultural competence. This will help employees to become more aware of their own biases and how these can impact others, as well as how to interact with people from different cultures.
Third, employers should offer support services that are tailored to the needs of ethnically diverse women (Segel & Enomoto, 2021). This could include things like mental health support, career development programs, and networking opportunities.
Finally, employers should review their policies and procedures (USAID, 2022) to make sure they are inclusive of all employees. This includes things like flexible working arrangements, dress code policies, and equal opportunity practices.
By taking these steps, employers can create a workplace that supports the mental health and wellbeing of all employees, including ethnically diverse women.
If you are an employer and would like to find out more about how to support the mental health and wellbeing of your employees, please contact us. We offer a range of mental health resources that can help you to create a mentally healthy worker experience by providing culturally sensitive mental health resources.
Dnika J. Travis and Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon, Day-to-Day Experiences of Emotional Tax Among Women and Men of Color in the Workplace (Catalyst, 2018).
Thomas, R., Cooper, M., Cardazone, G., Urban, K., Cardazone, G., Bohrer, A., & Mahajan, S. (2021). Women in the Workplace 2020. New York: McKinsey & Company.
Integrating Gender into Workplace Policies. (2022, June 15). Usaid.gov. https://www.usaid.gov/engendering-industries/gender-equality-guides/policies
Race and mental health at work. (2022, January 17). Business in the Community. https://www.bitc.org.uk/fact-sheet/race-and-mental-health-at-work/
10 Big Issues Women Face at Work and What Leaders Can Do to Help (Blog Post). (2017, January 19). Catalyst. https://www.catalyst.org/2017/01/19/10-big-issues-women-face-at-work-and-what-leaders-can-do-to-help/
It’s a New Era for Mental Health at Work. (2021, October 4). Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2021/10/its-a-new-era-for-mental-health-at-work
Burns, T., Huang, J., Krivkovich, A., Rambachan, I., Trkulja, T., &; Yee, L. (2022, April 13). Women in the workplace 2021. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved July 16, 2022, from https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace
(Burns et al., 2022)
Segel, L. H., & Enomoto, K. (2021, August 27). 5 ways employers can support women's Mental Health. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2021/06/5-ways-employers-can-support-womens-mental-health