Updated: May 12
Some people think diversity is all about numbers... all about getting a certain number of people on board, from different, usually visibly diverse communities.
Yes... it does happen and there is no denying this fact. This post will discuss the reason why diversity is not a numbers game.
We will examine how, when diversity and inclusion is implemented through a well defined strategy, it adds value to an organisation.
We will explain how diversity and inclusion strengthens workplace culture and increases business performance.
Embedding Diversity - Not A Diversity Numbers Game
A well-designed strategy for embedding diversity and inclusion across an organisation, will help to promote diversity as an active component of the business and workforce quality agenda.
It will enables an organisation to create an optimum workplace environment for their staff teams, and in turn, increases the amount of quality outcomes the business is able to achieve.
Embedding diversity is not about the numbers of visibly diverse staff on board…. It’s about selecting the right people, from all backgrounds.
A modern, progressive organisation, will be a learning organisation. Diversity and inclusion is a business benefit that is driven from the very top.
Management functions should seek to learn about different cultures, backgrounds and experiences and use this knowledge to design and develop effective strategies to build its staff teams, products and services.
By shaping the business in a way that embeds and promotes diversity, there is an increased likelihood that it will appeal to a wider range of recruits and customers.
It will also of importance in building an inclusive brand image. This is of critical importance in a globalised marketplace, where brand image really matters.
The image of a business has implications for staffing, as well as commercial success. Again, this relates to the processes within the business and workplace culture, as well as product and service development.
Diversity is About Understanding and Inclusion
Diversity is about the inclusion of people with different, relevant skills at all levels of the business.... including the boardroom. People from a range of backgrounds bring different ideas and creativity that can drive innovation across a business.
Sourcing and including suitably qualified and experienced staff and recruiting board members from a range of different backgrounds, is important to the development strategy of an organisation. It helps to develop creative thinking and will enhance critical decision making, which matters to the business.
This is about equity in terms of opportunity, not just employing women into the senior leadership team to increase numbers, without availing them to opportunities and allowing them to have a voice. It is also about attracting women from different racial and cultural background who can add value to the organisation.
People from different backgrounds, can make important contributions, that help to engage staff and customers.
A diverse and inclusive boardroom, comprising people with relevant skills, experience makes a huge difference in helping to shape your business and makes for modern, successful brand imagery.
This is crucially important in the age of social media, where searches online, can reveal much about your company and attitudes towards diversity and inclusion. A talented and diverse board membership adds credibility to a business.
Female Board members can add valuable experience and insights across all sectors and industries.
Boardroom diversity, with respect to gender diversity, and more generally, the gender pay gap, continues to be an area of imbalance across all sectors.
Reports suggest that inclusion of women and Black and other ethnic employees, across C-Suite levels of FTSE 100 companies, continues to be a cause for concern.
Fairness, is an integral part of diversity and as such, addressing gender imbalance across all areas of business, will go some way to promoting diversity and inclusion.
Women on boards and in leadership positions, can add great value by offering different perspectives. This will greatly enhance decision making at senior levels of the business, which impacts all areas of the business.
Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion
To begin the process of enhancing diversity and inclusion across any organisation, there has to be a genuine ownership of the inclusive process at the top.
A will to tackle all forms of discrimination in the workplace, followed by strategic programmes and action, will start to develop a workplace culture that supports diversity and inclusion. As such, it can be said that quality champions quality and it is not just a number crunching tick-box exercise.
By integrating diversity into training programmes, strategic decisions, training programmes and ways of working, you will begin to develop a business culture that supports inclusive recruitment and attracts the very best talent, from all backgrounds.
This, in turn, will support business growth and innovation, developing the ability to build relationships with staff and a wide range of potential clients, customers and recruits.
Diversity is about variety.... in all its forms.
'Diversity' includes people of all colours, backgrounds, lifestyles, abilities and social status. Everyone has skills, abilities, knowledge and experience that apply at all levels within a business.
This should be embraced and harnessed for what it is.... a tool for learning and the development of excellence.
Diversity is about variety. It’s about including 'difference' in all aspects of a business to facilitate learning. It's about developing an environment of competence and excellence, in which all are welcome and able to contribute.
So there you have it! Diversity is not about numbers… it’s about delivering quality outcomes for all….
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