These diversity and inclusion questions will help you evaluate the company culture in and identify key areas of improvement to address in your organization.
Diversity refers to any dimension which can be used to differentiate groups from one another. The diversity dimensions include but are not restricted to gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, class, education and disability.
Diversity in the workplace is about allowing exploration of these dimensions in a positive, safe, welcoming and nurturing workplace. It is about understanding different aspects of diversity, the background behind them and creating a conducive and cohesive environment for exploration and inclusivity. As a whole, it is about valuing and embracing differences between people, and celebrating heterogeneity. Creating a workplace environment of diversity and culture provides rich levels of positivity.
Although diversity exists along different dimensions, you cannot simply categorize people into fixed dimensions. Each individual brings with them a rich, diverse set of perspectives, cultural experiences and values.
The terms ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ are often used interchangeably. But if you want to get the most out of each of them, you need to know the differences between them. Whereas diversity is focused on what makes people different, inclusion looks more at creating an environment where diversity can thrive.
The diversity journal classifies inclusion as:
“Inclusion involves bringing together and harnessing these diverse forces and resources in a way that is beneficial. Inclusion puts the concept and practice of diversity into action by creating an environment of involvement, respect, and connection—where the richness of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives are harnessed to create business value.”
You should be consciously aware of why diversity and inclusion are important at the interpersonal level already, but we will cover it briefly and also show you why diversity and inclusion are important in the workplace.
Having a diverse and inclusive work environment makes people more in tune with people’s cultural background, more appropriate in the workplace, but also more understanding in difficult circumstances. Having a diverse workforce breaks down barriers between different cultures and backgrounds, building a more tolerant and inclusive workforce. Creating a workplace with limited diversity can create a toxic, almost xenophobic environment.
Companies with diverse and inclusive workforces are more likely to generate a wider range of ideas and perspectives.
By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be millennials and they are increasingly acquiring leadership roles. So, it’s important for organizations to recognize what millennials want from their employer. Research has indicated that around 80% of the millennial generation consider company policies on diversity, equality and inclusion during their job search.
Research by the Global CEO survey indicates that 85% of companies who have in place formal diversity and inclusion strategies report improvements in their bottom line.
Conflict is an inevitability in the workplace. How you deal with it and how you resolve it though, is not. Diversity and inclusion can help! Colleagues who acknowledge other people’s differences are more likely to find solutions to conflicts quicker than others, and respect for coworkers helps to reduce the likelihood of conflicts.
Workplace diversity and inclusion can only be a positive thing for an organization. At the very least it builds respect between employees, and promotes a cohesive and synergistic workforce.
Slightly off-kilter with respect to its importance in the workplace, but the macroeconomic importance in wider society of diversity and inclusion in the workplace should not and cannot be understated. Those in marginalized groups are more likely to face a wider range of discrimination, and this includes economic discrimination. This means they are less likely to find jobs appropriate to their skill level and wages consistent with that in less discriminated groups. This has reverberating effects for their and their family's wellbeing, but also for wider society. A workplace which does not discriminate is just one of many steps to a more socially balanced and pro-community society.
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