Updated: Sep 14
Inclusion, diversity and equality bring many benefits to business.
What do we mean when we speak of workplace diversity?
When speaking of diversity, many people often think that it is a code for race and gender issues and fail to understand the breadth of what diversity actually is.
Within an increasingly complex and competitive space, progressive businesses are continually seeking to maximise diversity to remain relevant.
This is true in terms of workplace environment and service development. It is also relevant to capturing the attention of an increasingly diverse customer base and growing your business.
Ultimately, it will be those who can reflect the richness and complexity of diversity that are most successful.
The businesses that showcase diversity throughout all aspects of their operations, will be the ones that progress and benefit from enhanced business results.
The benefits of diversity cannot be understated and are underpinned by strategic opportunities to advance quality, supporting inclusive boardroom decisions, that benefit every operation of the business.
Opportunities to embed diversity.
High profile cases of sexual discrimination, such as that of Harvey Weinstein, which sparked the #MeToo movement across the world, have served to reignite the issue of sexual harassment within society.
There are, however, many other opportunities within the workplace that continue to be overlooked.
Issues of workplace race and disability discrimination, are often discounted by employers, often because of lack of understanding and training in discrimination.
Often those who are visibly different, face exclusion within staff teams and may not be considered part of the dominant ethic, social and cultural mix within the workplace.
They are often excluded or marginalised at work functions or, may be invited, but not allowed to participate in a meaningful way. This amounts to discrimination.
Whilst things have moved forward a lot over the past 20 or so years, and clearly attitudes towards race, disability and gender stereotypes have changed, unfairness and discrimination can still be found within the workplace.
Many businesses are failing to keep up with societal changes and remain entrenched in their status quo.
Many employers have official policies to promote a diverse workforce, supported by current HR regulations, but in practice, do nothing to embed diversity through behavioural change and training.
They remain tied to practices that support discrimination. It is important for businesses to audit for diversity and change the status quo, where necessary.
We are who we employ
It is easy to recruit for, and employ people in our own image, but what does this do to help diversity and inclusion? Employing to increase the numbers of visibly diverse employees does nothing for diversity and inclusion.
It serves merely as an attempt to present an image that the organisation is diverse. Talent is diverse. Recruitment should be inclusive.