05 Jun, 2020
An Explanation of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
This informal CPD article on An Explanation of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace was provided by Events Together, a corporate event management consultancy – with a difference.
You’ve probably heard of the term ‘diversity and inclusion’ before. But, you may be wondering, what is diversity and inclusion in the workplace? It is an important thing to consider for all organisations, regardless of their size, industry, or where they operate. Previously, it may have been seen as a bit of a bonus, something that is nice to have, but not completely necessary. Well, times have changed. Today, ensuring that your workplace is diverse and welcoming to all is a business basic. So, if you want to know what diversity and inclusion in the workplace entails, as well as some ideas of how and why you should be carefully considering it, then read on!
So, what is it?
If we’re getting down to basics, diversity and inclusion in the workplace means being understanding and accepting of the difference between people, including their race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, disabilities, ages, and more. However, it also means valuing these differences and the contributions that all people can bring to the organisation.
Everyone in the workplace and the contribution they can make to the organisation. However, it extends even further than this. Everyone must feel accepted and valued. But, diversity and inclusion should be more than a token step. It should be built into the fabric of the business, and not just be an afterthought. Every process, from hiring to innovation, and so much more, should consider the steps that must be taken to ensure that being inclusive is a priority.
Why is it important?
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is important for a huge number of reasons. Everyone deserves to feel accepted at work. But it doesn’t just stop there. It can have huge benefits for staff wellbeing, creativity and innovation, and can even drive profits for your organisation. Did you know that, according to Forbes, teams that are gender, age, and ethnically diverse make better decisions at work up to 87% of the time? Whatever statistics you look at, there’s no denying that a truly diverse workplace has benefits for everyone.
How can I ensure I’m championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
Every member of an organisation has a responsibility to champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, make sure that everyone feels accepted and valued, and that the conversation around diversity remains open. There are plenty of ways you can do it, from director level to employees.
Firstly, it is important to learn about best practices when it comes to diversity and inclusion. What you learn about may vary depending on your position in the organisation. But, it’s important for all staff members to have a basic understanding of what it entails. Why not attend a conference on the subject? Or, take advantage of one of the many learning courses out there to increase your knowledge and that of your colleagues.
In the workplace itself, there are plenty of things you can do to make a change to ensure your place of work is accessible and inclusive for all. This is regardless of their background, sexuality, needs, and so on. Here are some steps and adjustments you really should consider implementing for a truly inclusive workplace:
- Working from home options, for those who are not always able to work from the office for whatever reason
- Parental leave as standard for all genders, and flexible working hours, enabling people to work around their children
- Gender neutral advertising when recruiting, to stop any gender bias, unconscious or otherwise
- Advertise job roles on a variety of platforms to attract a wider pool of candidates from different backgrounds
- Take a look at the Positive Action section of the Equality Act 2010, Section 159. It states that you can take positive action to ensure you’re recruiting and promoting a diverse talent pool
- Implementing a corporate health policy that includes LGBT people and their needs
- Recognising same sex partners
- Pushing for more under-represented people in leadership positions. This can have so many benefits for your organisation as a whole!
Workplace diversity is at the forefront of people’s minds right now, and it will only continue to grow in prominence. If it’s not already part of your organisation’s mission, what are you waiting for?
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