Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice and belonging is having that voice be heard. Diversity refers to any aspect that can be used in order to distinguish individuals and groups from one another. In other words, diversity is the practice adopted by organizations to include people from diverse backgrounds like diversity in age, gender, religion, culture, education, disability, ethnicity and so forth.
Inclusion defines as an act of including, it’s an organizational practice and strategy that is designed to establish a healthy environment where all employees from different backgrounds are welcome, encourage, esteemed and treated equally. In a nutshell, diversity and inclusion both concepts are implemented to promote equity culture in workplaces that culture cultivates respect, empowerment and open access for opportunities and resources for all individuals which promote unique ideas and prevail learning environment.
According to the Andres Tapia;
“Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work.”
All employees carry diverse competencies, school of thoughts, academic background and professional as well as life experiences and these differences are valued by successful organizations. In those organizations where diversity and inclusivity are highly considerable factors so in return those workplaces also enjoy the benefit from employees because when all employees get fair chance to participate in brainstorming sessions, meetings, and supported by management to showcase their skills sets then in a result overall organization performance, creativity, innovation, level of employee engagement and productivity cultivate. Based on the evidence when employees feel motivated and valued by their employers so they also try hard to contribute their part with full of energy in the accomplishment of organizations goals. On the ground of the US-based study of social workers demonstrated that inclusion planning’s closely related to employee’s job satisfaction level.
“Diversity and inclusion creates a positive working environment, but building a diverse workforce is also the smart business thing to do.”
A number of researches also highlighted the best approaches and ways to implement diversity and inclusion in organizations. Like we have studies related to a meta-analysis of diversity management that demonstrated different steps about how to structure inclusive workplace. Firstly, organizations should try to design substantial plans to evaluate diversity on a perpetual basis and recruitment processes should be free from discrimination means open vacancies for all regardless of any business which provides a diverse energetic human capital.
The second point that should be considered by management if they want to achieve D&I benchmark is that; all their policies and procedures should reflect the engagement of all individuals which leads towards a sense of being valued and welcomed. After this, the third point is again about the continuous inspection of D&I climate on the basis of previously used techniques that accumulate viewpoints of individuals on diversity and inclusivity in organizations.
These steps showed that writers of the meta-analysis gave high attention that organizations should induct D&I policies and practices in every level it may be leaders or managerial staff. Some authors talked about the problem that arises between fresh mentees and senior-level mentors, the point is that when diverse workforce enter into the market so sometimes the mentors or senior level staff may not be well prepared to provide assistance to their mentees, that is why diversity is necessary for each and every level of organization.
Organizations should assign tasks and training according to the need and requirement of an individual. In the current era, organizations are facing a war for talent which means they should think outside the box for selection of the workforce not only considers conventional recruitment pools in order to apply diversity in the workplace.
“Effective diversity efforts must represent mirrors and windows; space where ALL people see themselves (mirrors) and connect with others (windows) in ways that support fostering an equitable society.”
– Dr Derrick Gay
Diversity in organizations is a result of high demographic shift which occur due to the commencement of globalization. Because of ease in global access workforce move in different regions to avail more opportunities, for career development and now a day’s organizations also need talent and competencies in their employees because diversity is a major driver for financial growth.
The payback of a diverse workforce not only provides social harmony at the workplace for the employees but also increases productivity and profitability that will help the entire organization to succeed in the global marketplace. For successful D&I culture, it should be necessary that top executive management portray diversity and inclusion through their actions, should encourage different cultural and religious people. Build an organizational culture where all individual voice is welcome, heard and respected.
“Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything for better or for worse.”
Submitted by Sana Ameer, Date 01 January 2021.