Part 1. Diversity and inclusion: the terms and benefits explained

Diversity and inclusion are among the hottest topics of 2019. More than 75% of Fortune 1000 companies pay specific attention to these topics by appointing Chief Equality Officers and implementing diversity initiatives. And 70% of companies claim that they are successful in attracting and retaining diverse employees. But if these same companies are asked what diversity and inclusion actually are, only 11% seem to understand the difference.

That’s a shame because companies that embrace diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business statistically outperform their peers and drive innovative results. Before we discuss how companies can do this, let’s start by explaining what diversity and inclusion in the workplace are.

What is diversity in the workplace?

Companies that implement diversity in the workplace employ a diverse team of people who reflect the society in which the company exists and operates. They empower people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different. Members of a diverse team of people can differ in terms of age, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin.

In a workplace that embraces diversity, these differences can be explored in a safe, positive and nurturing environment. Only when diversity is fully embraced—when companies recognize the differences in people and learn to respect and value each individual irrespective of their background—can the power of diversity be unleashed and the benefits reaped.

What is inclusion in the workplace?

Although it’s often thought that diversity and inclusion are the same thing, inclusion is a concept of its own. It can be described as the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the success of the organization. While diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique, inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that ensure people feel welcome.  

Inclusion in the workplace is important because it makes people feel respected and valued for who they are. They feel a level of supportive energy and commitment from others, which enables them to do their best at work. People working in inclusive organizations feel very motivated, often function at their full capacity and feel that they are part of the organization’s mission. Although they are two different things, inclusion is necessary for diversity efforts to succeed, and an inclusive workplace is beneficial for employee engagement and productivity.

The benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace

Being diverse and inclusive is not only an ethical and moral responsibility, but there’s also a whole list of benefits to consider:

  1. It can help you attract the best talent out there and engage that talent effectively.
  2. Ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to yield a higher revenue. For gender diverse companies, this is 15%.
  3. Companies with a healthy balance of men and women are 21% more likely to outperform their competitors. For companies with a good mix of ethnic backgrounds, this is 33%.
  4. Teams that are diverse in terms of age, gender and ethnicity make better decisions up to 87% of the time.
  5. Diversity and innovation go hand in hand; the more diverse the workplace, the more innovative the company.
  6. Besides, innovation, diversity and inclusion also drive creativity, productivity, reputation, engagement, and the results of an organization. 
  7. It’s easier for diverse companies to enter new markets and be successful in these markets.
  8. When employees perceive their employer as diverse and inclusive, they actually feel included themselves and perform better.

Textmetrics is here to help

As you can see, the benefits of a diverse and inclusive policy are numerous. And now that you know exactly what both diversity and inclusion in the workplace mean, it’s a lot easier to implement the two in your own strategy. With Textmetrics B1 module you can make sure that you create job vacancies that everyone can understand and attract a diverse talent group. And with the gender check, you can prevent a male/female candidate bias.

But before you go ahead and use these tools, we recommend that you to read Part 2 of this blog: Diversity and inclusion – best practices. Part 2. Best practices for changing the culture of your organization. In this post, we give you four best practices for changing the culture of your organization. 

 

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