Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are more than just a set of policies, programs, and staff numbers. Employers who value each team member’s individual needs, perspectives, and competencies outperform their competitors. Employees are more likely to trust and commit to diverse and inclusive settings as a result of this.

Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are related, but not identical concepts. The representation of an entity is referred to as diversity. Whereas, the degree to which different groups of people’s contributions, participation, and perspectives are valued and absorbed into space is referred to as inclusion.

If there are many diverse genders, ethnicities, nations, sexual orientations, and identities present, but only the perspectives of select groups are appreciated or have any authority or influence, it may be varied, but it is not inclusive.

We’ve already discussed the differences between diversity and inclusion, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these words before making changes to your company’s operations.

  • The term “diversity” relates to how diverse your workforce is, and it encompasses a wide range of traits. Race, culture, gender, sexuality, and experience are all factors. It’s all about inviting other worldviews into your company.
  • When all of your employees feel like they belong in your firm, you’ve achieved inclusion. They have the ability to express themselves, they are not discriminated against because of their ethnicity, and they see themselves reflected in your firm principles.

Significance of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion 

In order to attract people with the best innovative minds and skills, businesses must allocate the necessary resources and training. This may force you to seek beyond the typical recruitment pool in today’s talent war. This is what diversity in the workplace entails.

With greater mobility of migrant workers travelling to the four corners of the globe for career advancement and the demand for a talented and skilled workforce, globalization has resulted in diversity becoming a significant engine of economic growth around the world.

A diverse workforce provides not just social harmony for employees at work, but also increased productivity and profitability, which will help the company prosper in the global economy.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) have risen to the forefront in companies all over the world as a result of a worldwide pandemic, polarized politics, and movements for racial and social justice. 

Developing a long-term strategy, garnering leadership buy-in, assigning proper resources, and organizing communications, training, and education are necessary components of creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

Implementing an effective diversity training program is one of the most important aspects of creating workplace culture and developing inclusive attitudes for HR and training executives. Training can also be used to express an organization’s DE&I goals and expectations, stimulate open dialogue and criticism, and provide practical strategies for becoming more inclusive in everyday encounters.

Its Benefits

The advantages of having a diverse and inclusive workplace are:

  • Increases revenue
  • Increases creativity and innovation
  • Employee retention is 5.4 times higher
  • Reduces employee turnover to a significant level
  • attract a diversified talent pool

5 Diversity and Inclusion Training Topics 

Here are five training topics for establishing a more accepting, inclusive, and open workplace culture:

  1. Distinction Between Diversity and Inclusion

While most people grasp what diversity is, the concept of inclusion necessitates a higher level of comprehension. “Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion,” according to a Harvard Business Review article, defines the distinction thus: 

“In the workplace, diversity implies representation. The vital relationships that attract diverse individuals, encourage their engagement, stimulate creativity, and contribute to economic growth will not happen without inclusion.”

If diversity is a mix of people with different characteristics, backgrounds, abilities, experiences, and perspectives, it takes diversity to the next level by involving marginalized or underrepresented people in the organization’s operations and leadership.  Managers who act inclusively invite and listen to minority views, as well as facilitate relationships across groups, departments, job titles, and management levels.

  1. Public Awareness of Unconscious Bias

Unconscious prejudice, commonly referred to as implicit bias or concealed bias, is a major impediment to DE&I. Unconscious bias occurs when people make judgments and take mental shortcuts based on stereotypes about someone’s color, gender, ethnicity, age, handicap, or other criteria, whether favorable or unfavorable.

Unconscious bias training for all employees, including resume screeners and hiring managers, can help raise awareness of the many types of unconscious bias and reduce its impact on workplace practices, policies, and processes.

  1. Recognizing Microaggressions

Microaggressions, a psychological notion that has been present for decades, has now become a part of the greater DE&I discourse. 

Derald Wing, M.D. Sue, a Columbia University professor of psychology and a microaggressions pioneer, defines them as everyday verbal, non-verbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to members of a marginalized group, whether intentional or unintentional.

Microaggressions include:

  • Telling a person of color how articulate they are.
  • Constantly interrupting women in meetings.
  • Assuming someone’s sexual orientation based on their looks.

These seemingly harmless comments, which are often the result of unconscious bias, have been compared to death by a thousand cuts and have been linked to health issues, workplace burnout, and other harmful consequences. 

Employees who are on the receiving end, witnesses, or have been called out for a microaggression benefit from training that teaches them what microaggressions are and how to respond to them.

  1. Bystander Intervention and Allyship 

Bystander intervention training has risen to prominence as one of the most efficient strategies to interrupt inappropriate behavior before it escalates into unlawful harassment. According to a former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) commissioner, it has the potential to be a game-changer in the workplace and a beneficial influence in instilling a sense of collective responsibility among employees. Being a positive bystander can also help with diversity and inclusion efforts.

Employees learn how to offer support and empathy for their marginalized or underrepresented coworkers. They also learn different ways to be advocates and allies for their coworkers who are targets of racism, microaggressions, and other non-inclusive conduct.

  1. Understanding the Link Between Diversity and Workplace Harassment

Organizations can use diversity training to reinforce anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and processes, as well as encourage people to speak up and report misconduct. 

According to the EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, a lack of diversity is one of the risk factors for workplace harassment. Also, sexual harassment of women is more likely to occur in firms with a predominantly male workforce. In contrast, racial/ethnic harassment is more likely to occur in organizations with a single race or ethnicity.

Harassment can also result from a lack of respect for different points of view. Increasingly intense discussions about current events outside the office, according to the task group, “may make harassment inside a workplace more likely or regarded as more acceptable,” providing a danger that employers should assess and manage.

Organizations that provide diversity and inclusion training to its employees should focus on specialized sessions with on-going topics to bring a truly diverse and inclusive workplace. This makes individuals feel valued and connected and also they feel more engaged in work, thus, resulting in productivity.