Diversity and inclusion in the workplace matter for a variety of reasons.
The more diverse a company is, the more diverse its thoughts and ideas will be. Inclusion in the workplace is important because if the work environment isn’t inclusive, it doesn’t matter how diverse the team is.
Inclusivity in the workplace goes beyond simply having a team that is made up of a diverse population.
It means making sure everyone feels welcomed, valued, respected, and heard. When you lead a diverse team that involves inclusivity, it requires upper management to listen, communicate, and empathize.
All of the dimensions of ourselves that make us who we are help shape our culture because we appreciate diverse mindsets, experiences, and perspectives. These dimensions include internal, external, and organizational dimensions. We live by our values. Diversity is part of the corporate, leadership, and working cultures.
- Sexual orientation
- Religious beliefs
- Mental health challenges
By embracing diversity and inclusivity, you can utilize your team’s differences to the benefit of your business.
How Is Diversity in the Workplace Important?
Diversity in employees equals diversity in ideas. Company output will be better. Teams that are too homogenous may not branch out into other areas of growth for the company. Diverse thinking from people who come from diverse backgrounds is an asset to the company.
Diversity promotes change – the more diverse the team is, the more the company thrives.
People from different backgrounds bring different perspectives. Diversity raises the level of creativity.
The Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace
When the team is diverse, more ideas are brought to the table. This is because people from different backgrounds think differently.
There are many benefits to increasing diversity in the workplace. A few are:
- Decision making
When decisions are made by a diverse population, the company will benefit. This is because the decision-makers, most likely in leadership positions, bring fresh perspectives to decisions that need to be made.
Another benefit to diversity in the workplace is that companies that are more diverse make more money.
Employee performance improves in a diverse company. And let’s not forget about how innovative a company is if it listens to multiple ideas from people with diverse backgrounds.
Evaluating the Inclusivity of our Workplace
Diversity is different than inclusivity. People need to feel included, despite their background or however diverse they make the company.
We all want to see a more diverse population of people in the workplace. But diversity without inclusivity doesn’t matter. People need to feel seen, listened to, and included in the conversation. Their ideas and points of view need to be considered and taken seriously.
Inclusivity is about acceptance and understanding. For team members, it means not having to hide what makes them diverse.
It’s important for inclusion in the workplace to create a safe work environment for people to be themselves. Inclusivity is behavior-based, unlike diversity, which is decision-based.
Without inclusivity, diversity does nothing.
We need inclusivity to move our society forward. This means accepting people for who they are and what makes them diverse.
Foster Diverse Thinking
We keep saying this because it’s so important – the more diverse the company is, the more different thoughts get brought to the table. Diverse thinking improves the company’s performance and overall ability to change and grow in a positive way.
Success occurs when lots of different voices are heard.
Diverse thinking brings more to the table than a homogenous company. If you can remove bias and foster diverse thinking, your company will thrive. Diversity in the workplace benefits everyone in the company and all the stakeholders involved.
How To Consider Diversity and Inclusion in the Hiring Process
A workplace that is more diverse and inclusive will attract more diverse applicants. Applicants should feel as though they are being considered for how valuable they are to the company, not just for the diversity they bring to the workplace.
Make sure you’re looking at a candidate’s qualifications and not just how diverse the person will make the team. It is important to have a diverse team, but it’s also important to have a qualified team.
Cast a wide net when hiring and look at everybody who seems qualified.
Consider the company’s values and if they align with the candidate’s values. Put aside biases. Focus on the candidate’s experience, background, and perspective they bring to the table.
Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Is An Ongoing Process
Consider the diversity of upper management, not just team members. If team members of minority backgrounds are looking for guidance, they may not find it from someone who is very different from themselves.
That being said, different perspectives between upper management and team members are good for the company. It’s important, though, to look at the diversity of upper management as well. Consider who is leading the team.
Upper-level management positions should receive training in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Once trained, the managers should put mentoring positions into place with people who match up well based on background.
A company should never stop striving for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Your company should have a culture where inclusivity and diversity are valued and know the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
If you want to discuss resources for increasing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, we are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation today.