Updated: Jan 12
Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace is a concept that you’ve probably heard several times by now. The concept has continued to gain a lot of attraction in the corporate world as its benefits have become increasingly clear. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines diversity as “the collective mixture of differences and similarities that include, for example, individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences, and behaviors.” They further divide diversity into two categories- visible traits and invisible traits. The visible traits comprise gender, physical ability, age, race, and body type whereas the invisible traits comprise education, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, religion. Inclusion on the other hand is closely related, but the concept is different. SHRM defines inclusion as “the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success”.
What is workplace Diversity & Inclusion?
Workplace diversity is the acceptance and valuing the differences of people with different castes, races, religions, sexual orientation, skill sets, knowledge base. Inclusion within the Workplace is a co-operative, benevolent, and humble setting that will increase the participation and contribution of all employees. True inclusion removes all roadblocks, prejudice, and inequity once applied accurately in the workplace, it's natural for everybody to feel enclosed and supported. Diversity and inclusion is a company’s mission, approach , and practices to support a variety of work and strengthen the results of diversity to realize a competitive business advantage. corporations that make diverse and comprehensive work environments are a lot of adaptable, creative, and become magnets that attract high talent. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is beyond policies, programs, or headcounts. Evenhanded employers outperform their competitors by respecting the unique needs, perceptions and potential of all their team members. As a result, diverse and inclusive workplaces earn greater trust and additional commitment from their employees.
Impact of Diversity & Inclusion on Workplaces-
Whether your employees are a part of the LGBTQ community, belong to minority class because of their gender or ethnicity, or are remarkably older or younger than most of the employees within the organization , it's necessary for them to be accepted in the regular work for his or her personal successes and that of the organization. Research has found out that diversity & inclusion have a significant impact on various aspects of the organizations such as:
Innovation & Group Performance- Diverse teams are critical for innovation. Diverse management teams are innovative and earn a premium for their innovation. According to one recent study, over a period of three years companies with higher diversity in management earned 38% more of their revenues, on average, from innovative products and services than those companies with lower diversity. Homogenous groups may be susceptible to groupthink while diverse teams can leverage a greater variety of perspectives and are likely to consider information more thoroughly and accurately
Reputation & Responsibility- Inclusion boosts company reputation, consumers are more likely to purchase, or consider purchasing, a product after viewing an advertisement perceived to be diverse or inclusive. When corporate boards include members with diverse backgrounds and experiences, they are better able to recognize the needs and interests of different stakeholder groups. Gender-diverse boards also tend to adopt more progressive organizational management practices, such as work-life support programs, which increase employee satisfaction.
Improved Revenue Generation- Diversity is associated with improved financial performance. Many studies link diversity to indicators of profitability and financial health, including:Internal rate of return, Return on Equity (ROE), Stock returns, Gross and net margins, etc.Companies with consistent, inclusive workplace cultures—especially as experienced by historically underrepresented groups—also outperformed the S&P 500 in average annual stock returns during the Great Recession
Instead of making an attempt to look for that elusive “proof” that diversity causes improved business performance, organizations ought to concentrate on diversity as a talent issue, and acknowledge that to be a trade leader, it's essential to make use of the full talent pool. By hiring a restricted cluster of people, companies are missing out on vital segments of talent, so that they should lay energy and resources toward recruiting and holding diverse staff and making inclusive work cultures wherever everybody has a civil right to contribute and succeed.