Diversity refers to the combination of the differences that mold people’s views about the world, their perspectives, and approaches. In simple words, it means a wide variety or range of things. It is about recognizing, respecting, and valuing differences based on one’s gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, education, age, etc. It is the realization that each person is unique and understanding the differences between individuals in various ways.
Inclusion is when people feel and are safe, valued, and respected. Without giving any importance to personal backgrounds, all of them have the opportunity to excel in their jobs. Promotions are not denied due to their backgrounds and are purely based on merit and experience. Everyone has equal access to opportunities and resources. They can contribute their full potential, talents, and efforts to the good of the organization. It ensures equal opportunities for all employees.
Examples of How to Employ Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Due to the above factors, employers must ensure diversity and inclusion in the workplace by adopting the following measures:
1. Promote Pay Equity
The management must provide equal opportunities to all the employees. It is done by analyzing if the employees having similar roles and responsibilities are underpaid. After the analysis, if it is seen that there are gaps within the team, the management can take the necessary measures to ensure that people doing the same work and having the same responsibilities are paid equally, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, etc. The leaders can also assess the reasons behind it.
E.g., Novartis has Human Resource professionals who have been educated with compensation or pay equity to improve their diversity hiring methods.
2. Acknowledge Holidays Of All Cultures
The management must be aware of all holidays associated with different cultures and acknowledge them. The employers can engage in friendly conversations when the day’s work is over, asking them about how they plan to celebrate the festivals or holidays. This will impress the employees, and they will not feel that they are different from the rest of the other employees. They would feel welcome at their workplace and delighted to know that the management cares about the well-being of the employees rather than just work. They would be satisfied with their existence in the workplace and contribute their maximum towards organizational goals.
3. Facilitate Ongoing Feedback
The management can conduct surveys from time to time to better understand what exactly is going on in the workplace. They might seem content from the outside, but they may not be satisfied with their presence in the organization due to discrimination. The management can also find this out through surveys that stay anonymous. These surveys become sources of information for the management, and they will know if there is discrimination in certain areas and assess patterns. They will further make sure that this situation improves.
4. Assess Company Policies
Employers can assess if there are any issues in their company policies. They can look for any statement that paves the way for discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, etc., in the workplace. They need to assess the areas in their business where discrimination may occur.
For example, the way an internal issue is resolved is very important. If not done properly, it might lay the seeds for a bigger problem in the future and may not be limited to just one.
5. Be Aware Of Unconscious Bias
It refers to associations or feelings of bias that may be hidden. This must be paid more attention to than conscious bias. The leaders can address this issue by helping individuals understand how the employees are affected by unconscious bias. Awareness can be built, and unconscious bias can be addressed by encouraging the employees to review, question, and analyze their personal biases and assumptions. By keeping a record of instances of stereotypes, people will become more aware and conscious of their own biases. They would change this further.
6. Listen To The Employees
Sometimes, all the managers and employers have to do is sincerely listen to the employees’ concerns and suggestions. This will make the employees understand that their words are valued and challenging when more and more employees are included in major meetings to offer their suggestions, for getting a wide perspective.
7. Support Innovation And Creativity
For ensuring an inclusive workforce, the company must encourage the employees to bring forward their ideas on how to bring their business to a new level. It is hard to maintain diversity in the workplace without giving the employees an opportunity to voice out their opinions.
8. Support Flexibility In The Workplace
The management can offer flexible working hours as well as locations to attract and retain diverse employees. This gives employees the freedom to work in any personal condition and reduces absence or leave requests.
9. Support Teamwork And Collaboration
These must be one of the core values of a company trying to ensure diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Employees always look for support from their employers, and if they do not get enough support, they will not feel welcome at their own work and would feel dissatisfied.
10. Ensure Gender Inclusion
The management must adopt strategies to ensure equal availability of opportunities to men and women. Employers must have a good ratio of men as well as women as employees. They must not deny promotions based on gender. Surveys conducted by Mckinsey & Company show that companies with more than 30% women executives were more likely to outperform companies with a percentage of 10%-30% of the same. According to Builtin, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to beat industry median financial returns.
Companies Ensuring Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace
L’Oréal is, undoubtedly, one of the best examples for ensuring diversity and inclusion in all aspects. It pairs young employees with multicultural people in the Netherlands. In addition to these, it sponsors disability awareness workshops. It tops the list for gender equality. Women over here account for 69% of the workforce and 53% of major positions.
Accenture is well known for embracing diversity as a source of innovation, creativity, and competitive advantage. They believe that there must not be any discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, race, gender, etc. Their diversity training consists of the following three components:
(i) Diversity Awareness: Help people understand the benefits of working with a diverse organization.
(ii) Diversity Management: Equip executives and management teams.
(iii) Professional Development: Enable women, LGBT, and employees diverse in ethnicity for building skills for success.
76% of the people look for an inclusive workplace while evaluating companies and job offers. This brand made it to the Top 10 of DiversityInc’s 50 Best Companies for Diversity list. They believe that diversity is the best innovation and that diversity drives better insights. They encourage the older employees in their enterprise to be more active when it comes to social media.
4. Johnson And Johnson
Their vision is to maximize diversity and inclusion to boost business results and gain a competitive advantage. They have employee resources groups and mentoring programs. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace have many benefits like more revenue growth, innovation readiness, higher employee retention, improved cultural awareness, etc. It attracts higher-quality candidates for new job positions and decreases employee turnover.
Every employee values a diverse and inclusive workplace, which is very clear from this. Providing an ideal workplace will increase employee loyalty, morale, satisfaction, and empowerment, which helps the company to retain skilled employees. It makes better and efficient teams, leads to more innovation, creativity, and better decision-making, and provides a better reputation for the company.