Stephanie Holmes: How to Embrace Diversity and Respect Employees’ Rights at Work

It’s important for employers to value employees as unique individuals and bring together people with diverse skill sets, backgrounds and perspectives. That’s the message of a new Philanthropy Roundtable video featuring labor and employment lawyer Stephanie Holmes, founder of BrighterSideHR, an organization that provides training around those issues and offers a “refreshing approach to diversity and inclusion.” Holmes has also partnered with the Roundtable on our True Diversity Initiative, an equality-based, holistic framework for embracing diversity.   

As Americans consider what the Supreme Court’s recent decision ending race-based affirmative action in higher education means for private employers—especially those with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies and practices in place—this video offers hiring managers a thoughtful approach to building a diverse workplace without focusing solely on characteristics like race and gender.   

Defining diversity based purely on superficial categories really misses the true value of each individual employee’s unique skillsets, experiences, viewpoints, backgrounds,” Holmes said. “Bringing employees together with a diverse set of perspectives can really help organizations flourish.”   

Watch the video below to learn more about Holmes’s holistic approach that embraces the values of True Diversity:  

Holmes also highlights how some DEI training programs can be problematic, which she says may put organizations at risk of violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act.   

Holmes previously authored Philanthropy Roundtable’s True Diversity Toolkit for employers, which reviews the legal risks associated with some DEI practices. Alternatively, she champions the idea that hiring decisions should be based on merit, experience and skills. She recommends several steps that employers can take to develop a truly diverse and inclusive workplace and to cultivate a positive culture where every employee is treated fairly and respectfully.  

True Diversity is an equality-based, holistic framework for embracing diversity. It values every person as a unique individual and empowers charitable organizations with the freedom and flexibility to advance their missions and help those in need. Learn more here. 

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