Diversity and Inclusion

What does it mean? And what can it do for your company?

Diversity and inclusion have become buzzwords in the business world, and for good reason. Both concepts have gained significant attention in recent years as companies strive to create work environments that are welcoming and inclusive of all employees. However, the meanings of diversity and inclusion are often misunderstood or used interchangeably. What do these terms mean and what is their significance in the workplace. 

Diversity 

Diversity refers to the differences that exist among people, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, education, and socioeconomic status. In the context of the workplace, diversity means having a workforce that includes people from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. A diverse workplace can help companies better understand and meet the needs of their customers, develop innovative ideas and approaches, and foster a culture of creativity and learning. 

Inclusion

Inclusion, on the other hand, refers to the deliberate and active effort to create an environment where everyone feels welcomed, respected, and valued. Inclusion means providing equal access to opportunities, resources, and rewards, regardless of a person’s background or identity. An inclusive workplace promotes teamwork, collaboration, and mutual respect, which leads to higher employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. 

To put it simply, diversity is about the mix, while inclusion is about how you blend it. Diversity is not enough if employees feel excluded or marginalized, which is why inclusion is equally important. The goal is not just to hire a diverse workforce but also to create an inclusive culture where everyone feels comfortable and supported. 

What does it mean for you? 

Why is diversity and inclusion important in the workplace? There are many benefits to having a diverse and inclusive workforce: 

  1. It can improve the bottom line. Studies have shown that companies with diverse teams outperform their peers in terms of revenue and profitability. According to a 2021 McKinsey study, companies with diverse boards and executive leadership earn more in profits. Specifically, companies in the top 25 percent in gender diversity were likely to out-earn companies in the bottom 25 percent in gender diversity by… 25%.  
  2. It can help attract and retain top talent. People want to work in environments where they feel accepted, respected, and valued. This will also impact employee engagement. 
  3.  It can improve decision-making and problem-solving. Diverse teams bring different perspectives and ideas to the table, which can lead to better outcomes. 

Despite it being a win-win scenario, creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is not easy, and it requires a long-term commitment from leadership and employees at all levels. How can companies foster diversity and inclusion: 

Start with leadership: 

Leadership sets the tone for the company culture, and they need to be committed to diversity and inclusion from the top down. 

Create a diverse hiring process:  

Companies need to attract a diverse pool of candidates and ensure that their hiring process is free from bias. 

Educate employees:

Provide training on diversity and inclusion, and make sure employees understand the importance of creating an inclusive workplace. 

Foster open communication: 

Encourage employees to share their experiences and perspectives and create a safe space for open dialogue. 

 

Measure progress:  

Set measurable goals and track progress towards creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. 

Diversity and inclusion are essential for creating a successful and thriving workplace. By embracing and valuing differences, companies can tap into the full potential of their employees, improve their bottom line, and create a culture of inclusion and respect. 

If you would like further support, please get in touch with a member of the team who will be able to support your further info@hrready.co.ukor 01223 641 017.