What is diversity and inclusion? Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique whilst inclusion refers to the behaviours and social norms that ensure people feel welcome (Trdinoo). According to Forbes, “Those in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians.” So, ask yourself, is your workplace diverse and is it inclusive enough?
How to make your workplace more inclusive?
This is a process that will not happen overnight. Diversity and inclusion need to be embedded within your company by creating safe spaces, a “speak up” culture and enabling a mindset shift. For example, unconscious biases are the underlying attitudes and stereotypes that people unconsciously attribute to another person or group of people that affect how they understand and engage with a person or group. Even something you think may be a small thing, might be important to others, such as asking employee’s their preferred pronouns (he/she/they) and using “spouse” or “partner” rather than the gendered “husband” or “wife”.
Minor changes you can make include:
- Rewriting job descriptions so they are gender-neutral and use words that strike a balance of gendered descriptors and verbs.
- Strengthen anti-discriminatory policies
- Build a multigenerational and multilingual workforce
- Foster a company culture where every voice is welcome, heard and respected
Diversity and Inclusion is a growing topic in HR and the workplace. Being a diverse and inclusive company does not go unnoticed by employees. Glassdoor found that 57% of employees and 67% of job seekers consider diversity an important element of their workplace, which affects recruitment and retention.
The below diagram shows some of the areas where you need to be mindful that you are not being discriminative. It gives examples of areas where you must be inclusive whilst ensuring that you have a diverse workforce to reflect the different characteristics.