Diversity, equity and inclusion should be top business priorities because they bring new perspectives, ideas, languages, contacts and professional cultures into your workplace. Diversity creates fresh thinking, better results and strengthens competitive edge.
Millennials actively look for companies that prioritize DEI and offer clear promotion tracks for diverse employees. Promoting DEI goals also contributes to attracting the top talent available on the market.
One cornerstone of DEI is inclusion, which refers to the practice of making people feel welcome and accepting of who they truly are at work. Going beyond simply supporting diversity efforts, inclusion means making sure all voices are heard regardless of disagreement between individuals.
Establishing a culture of inclusion in the workplace is no small undertaking, yet can bring great advantages. Teams that are more inclusive tend to perform better, and employees who feel part of their organizations tend to be more engaged. Achieve this success starts at the top, with leadership modeling an inclusive environment. Three McKinsey studies have confirmed this point by showing companies with higher ethnic and gender diversity being more profitable.
Though workplace inclusion offers many advantages, it must also be understood as having risks. One such danger is tokenism: when members of socially oppressed groups are asked to participate without truly feeling empowered; another danger lies in assumptions that some racial/ethnic/gender identities are more “authentic” than others leading to marginalization of certain communities; still other examples include ableism which assumes that people with disabilities are less competent than their able-bodied peers or gender binary bias which expects individuals conforming to standard expectations about gender/gender in order to gain acceptance; other examples include ableism where individuals feel pressure to conforming with accepted gender norms so as not be perceived by society – two further examples include gender binary bias where individuals feel pressure to conforming conform with accepted gender binary gender norms just to ensure acceptance; these risks exist when inclusion can turn into abuse of power relationships that divide instead of inclusion or even abuse from either extreme.
At its core, inclusion requires dedication and time for any team just starting out. But inclusion can help break down barriers that prevent diverse identities from being heard; such as physical roadblocks, zoning laws that limit accessibility or discriminatory language that limits communication with one another as well as unconscious biases that people hold about themselves or others without their awareness.
Note that creating a more inclusive workplace takes time and may be interrupted by external events like COVID-19 pandemic which introduced new dynamics into teams. Establish a framework to measure success of inclusion efforts and adjust them when necessary.
Have you come across the terms “diversity” and “inclusion” frequently when discussing business? Both terms work in tandem to create workplace environments that are more inclusive, productive, and competitive – however two additional concepts that need to be kept in mind: equity and belonging.
Equity goes beyond diversity by taking an inclusive and empowered approach to inclusion and empowerment for everyone present, such as providing equal access and opportunity for participation among women who may hold senior management roles but who don’t feel included and valued within an organization despite representation; in such an instance, there would not be equity present. Hence inclusion is commonly referred to as an “inclusion and equity” strategy rather than just diversity or inclusion alone.
Equity refers to creating an equal playing field so that everyone has access to equal opportunities, advancement, and advancement opportunities. This may mean identifying and eliminating any obstacles to progress such as longstanding gender norms or salary discrepancies that impede advancement, as well as providing employees with adequate resources necessary for effective working such as accommodations for disabilities or other challenges.
For instance, if an employee is having difficulty learning a new software system at work, their company could provide training or a support team that helps them adapt more quickly to it. This ensures that all employees have equal opportunities to succeed while creating a sense of community among employees.
Diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging can often be hard to differentiate among each other but are all critically important components of business success. By adopting strategies such as diversity management to your workplace environment, you can build an even more innovative and competitive business, one that attracts top talent into its fold in the future. Diverse teams tend to make better decisions while excelling at innovation and growth more successfully – this resource from PolicyLink will give more details.
As you explore diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work, there’s much vocabulary to master. DEI is often misconstrued with equality; there’s an important distinction: equity promotes equal access to opportunities while inclusion involves individuals actively engaging with communities and society.
DEI is all about creating an environment in which employees feel like they belong, and to do that successfully it’s essential to get to know your workforce and understand their needs. Psychologically safe interviews or focus groups provide a safe space where employees are encouraged to share personal stories and discuss what they require from the company in order to feel as though they truly belong.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, “belonging”, it is worth remembering that research conducted by Deloitte indicates a sense of belonging as being an effective predictor of job performance and company culture. According to their studies, feelings of belonging lead to 56% higher productivity rates and 34% increased intent to stay at your organization – clearly making cultivating this feeling worthwhile investment for any business.
Building a sense of belonging requires leadership support, which is why it’s critical for managers to engage and champion the people under their responsibility. They can foster an inclusive culture that allows employees from underrepresented groups to express themselves freely while making themselves heard, as well as support initiatives that give all employees equal chances to thrive.
Belonging also involves identifying gaps and working to close them. One way of doing this is increasing women in management roles and eliminating barriers that impede individuals from seeking senior positions, including making hiring practices inclusive and nondiscriminatory; another approach would be reexamining policies related to sexual orientation or gender identity; finally it is essential that we address racial disparity by dismantling barriers that create unfair hiring or retention practices and making systems fairer for everyone.
Diversity refers to differences among people that span races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, national origins, ages and abilities. Diversity also encompasses cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic standings and political perspectives.
Equity refers to ensuring equal access to opportunities, be they jobs or promotions. Companies must work actively towards breaking down any barriers that prevent employees from reaching their full potential; for instance if an employee with disabilities needs special accommodations in order to do their work effectively; equity can even mean making adjustments in policies and procedures in order to create an inclusive workplace environment.
Inclusion occurs when all employees feel like they belong, regardless of any differences that might exist between them and others. This can be accomplished by creating an environment in which employees feel comfortable expressing themselves authentically while knowing they are valued for their unique contributions.
Companies should establish strong policies to support diversity, equity and inclusion by communicating them to all employees. They should promote an environment that celebrates differences while offering open dialogue that facilitates teamwork and collaboration, addressing microaggressions, bias and discrimination and creating diversity dashboards that track key metrics like men vs. women ratio and how different generations are represented in their workforces.
By making diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) a top priority in their workplaces, businesses can achieve better results in the form of increased innovation, higher retention rates, and greater profits. Diverse organizations are up to 37% more innovative compared to their less diverse counterparts and offer customers and clients different perspectives that help enhance customer service and client retention rates. If your DEI efforts need an upgrade read our article on creating an effective DEI strategy followed by downloading our free infographic with key metrics for measuring success as well as opportunities for further improvement!