As the world becomes more interconnected and organisations become globalised, the need for diversity and inclusion in the workplace is more essential than ever. Businesses are increasingly recognising the value of D&I in their employees, and demand for skilled professionals continues to grow. In this article, we will explore the potential career paths and benefits for those looking to undertake a diversity and inclusion CPD course.
What is Diversity and Inclusion?
Diversity and inclusion involves bringing together individuals with a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences. It encompasses fostering an environment where everyone, irrespective of their background, abilities, ethnicity, race, age, sexual orientation, or gender, feels welcomed, valued, respected and included. This typically consists of recognising, embracing and harnessing the talents and unique qualities each person can bring. Not only is D&I an important aspect to incorporate into each workplace but also within society as it can help to ensure fairness and equality for all.
What is the difference between Diversity and Inclusion, Equality and Equity?
Diversity and inclusion has also been referred to as diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) or more recently diversity, equity and inclusion. These terms are often used interchangeably, although there are some key differences that we have outlined below.
- Equality is the fair treatment of everyone having access to the same resources and opportunities. In the UK, this is often linked to the 2010 Equality Act.
- Equity recognises that we do not all have the same starting point or circumstances. For example, different people may need to be allocated extra resources so that everyone can have an equal outcome. Adjustments may need to be made so that any imbalances are addressed.
- Diversity is the mix of people from different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, sexualities, etc.
- Inclusion is the harnessing and embracing of a variety of cultures and backgrounds to ensure that individuals feel respected and valued. This ensures that people have the opportunity to work in a way that accommodates their needs, whilst still being able to deliver on an organisation’s business goals.
Why is Diversity and Inclusion Important?
Not only is diversity and inclusion important in wider society, but it can bring many benefits to organisations, including:
Enhanced Innovation: diverse teams from a range of backgrounds and perspectives leads to more creative problem solving and innovation. The collaboration of people from different cultures and experiences working together can help to generate varying ideas and the ability to understand things from another viewpoint will highlight any potential pitfalls.
Increased Market Share: Organisations with a D&I priority tend to understand their customer base. This can lead to increased market share and enhanced insights as the organisation can more effectively cater to and understand their customers’ needs and preferences.
Improved Workforce Retention: Effective working relationships can make people feel respected and valued, meaning that they are more likely to stay in their roles. For the employer, a happy workforce will increase productivity and loyalty. For the employee, an inclusive workplace open to different perspectives will be an encouraging positive experience, fostering a sense of belonging.