Difference Between Diversity And Inclusion: Why You Need Both

Many businesses resort to flaunting how diverse their workforce and organization is. However, even when a workforce is diversified does not automatically imply that the organization is inclusive. 

Although the two phrases are sometimes used simultaneously since a truly welcoming workplace needs both, there is a significant distinction between inclusion and diversity. Understanding the difference between these two concepts is crucial for creating a comfortable, welcoming, and well-rounded workplace.

What is Diversity?

A set of traits that separates one subgroup from another is referred to as diversity. Values, experiences, histories, and even actions all contribute to diversity. There are apparent characteristics like ethnicity and gender, but it can also include less visible views, marital status, and religion. 

Diversity can take various forms, including racial, economic, religious, ideological, and age diversity. The objective of diversity is to shake things up and guarantee that you have a diverse workforce.

Enterprises with the most significant proportion of ethnic or religious diversity had better sales volume, more clientele, higher than the usual share of the market, and revenue, according to research published in the American Sociological Review.

Four Types of Diversity

There are several forms of diversity, but it’s usually divided into four categories, each with its own set of traits when it comes to understanding workplace diversity.

Here’s a quick summary of the four different forms of diversity:

  • Internal

Race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical capabilities, and mental capacity are all traits that a person is born with and cannot alter.

  • External

External variables are qualities that a person is not born with and may modify, even though they are usually highly impacted. Particular preferences, schooling, attractiveness, citizenship, immigration status, relationship status, social position, and religious views are all examples of personal characteristics.

  • Organizational

These elements separate persons in the workplace, such as work role, leadership status, division, experience, and salary.

  • Worldview

Worldview variety is another variable that may change over time. It describes how humans look at the world and the symbolic lens through which individuals interpret their experiences. Political allegiance and a natural moral compass are two examples.

A diverse work environment isn’t enough to satisfy a requirement on its own. The advantages of inclusiveness aren’t realized until all of these various voices and perspectives are heard.

What is Inclusion?

The processes that institutions use to incorporate everybody in the workplace, enabling their differences to coexist in a mutually beneficial way, are referred to as inclusion. The objective of inclusion methods is to make others feel welcomed and comfortable, allowing them to freely express their ideas and beliefs.

How to Create an Inclusive Workplace?

Here are a few ideas on how businesses may make their workplaces more inclusive of diverse employees:

  • Create stringent anti-discrimination policies.
  • Regularly require sensitivity/unconscious bias retraining.
  • Every level of the organization should be diverse.
  • Propose translating activities for deaf or multilingual individuals to take a nondenominational approach to the Christmas season.
  • Provide a wide selection of varieties of dishes that reflect a variety of religious beliefs.
  • Take questions and concerns seriously and pay attention to them.
  • Investigate onsite or emergency daycare options.
  • Ensure that appropriate healthcare and parental leave are available.
  • Encourage staff mentorship and consider providing education opportunities.

The Confusion 

The words diversity and inclusion are sometimes used interchangeably, although they are not interchangeable. Frequently, companies focus on expanding diversity without addressing the foundational elements that support variety. Be it more women, Mexicans, or African-Americans; you can recruit greater diversity. 

However, the business will not maintain diversity if the company culture does not welcome various viewpoints. Inclusion necessitates that everyone’s efforts be recognized, and everyone has the chance to perform their best job and progress, irrespective of their diversity.

Diversity seems to be the ‘what,’ while inclusion is a ‘how.’ A way of measuring culture that allows diversity to succeed. Diversity concentrates on the demographics of the workforce, including gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexual preference, and longtime social standing, to name a few. At the same time, inclusion is an indicator of culture that allows diversity to prosper.

A recruiter who has addressed their subconscious prejudices, for instance, will be able to recruit and create a diverse workforce. If these team members feel appreciated, trusted, and allowed to contribute meaningfully to the team, then the company’s rules and culture have succeeded in incorporating them to a greater extent.

Are Diversity and Inclusion Exclusive?

Inclusion becomes increasingly vital when a company becomes more diverse. Initiatives to be inclusive must focus on ensuring every employee feels valued and trusted, irrespective of their background. Ethnically diverse firms are 35 percent more likely to generate more significant revenue, whereas companies that are gender diverse are 15 percent more likely to generate higher income.

Letting the African mother of four in administration or the non-binary programer feel like they have an opportunity to be heard with the rest of the team is critical to creating a successful diverse, and inclusive workforce.

Why is it Essential for Workplaces to Focus on Both?

Great talent is constantly in demand, and companies compete for the best employees. Candidates considering joining a company want to see people that look like them at the pinnacle and engage in a culture that promotes diversity and encourages natural, polite conduct. 

A culture of respect, justice, and inclusiveness appeals to all ages, but youngsters are immediately attracted to it.

Firms with the most female representation outpaced companies with the lowest female representation, according to Catalyst. These firms surpassed their peers in terms of return on equity and net shareholders’ wealth by 35% and 34%, respectively. Companies know that when their shareholders are satisfied, they can perform and develop more effectively.

What Role Does Racial-cultural Diversity Play? 

Position in the top 25% for racial and ethnic diversity exceeds industry averages in terms of financial benefits, according to McKinsey & Company. In addition, firms that excel at gender diversity get above-average profits, according to this study.

Focusing on diversity is a straightforward method to relate to today’s generation (which is much more diverse than before) and develop the business if they want to compete and grow their company. Diverse views are brought to the table through diversity and inclusion (or D&I). Therefore, leaders can make more intelligent business judgments and avoid tarnishing their reputations by tone-deaf advertisements or goods.

Inclusion is more than just recruiting people from diverse backgrounds and races. It is a philosophy in which companies actively give equal opportunity to all members of the workforce. Both diversity and inclusion are arbitrary but not mutually exclusive. Only a business that understands the importance of both can succeed in today’s landscape.

Bottom Line

To summarize, diversity and inclusion are mutually beneficial and reliant on one another. Inclusion is the deliberate effort made by companies to encourage diversity and take it beyond the hype. Since the two concepts are firmly linked, organizations frequently conflate the terms “diversity” and “inclusion,” assuming that hiring equals inclusion. 

They can’t wait to tick the box and be done with it. These companies then complain why most of the diverse employees they spent time, money, and effort to hire leave soon after due to a lack of chances or a say in choices.

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