Diversity and Inclusion

In the midst of these changes, workplace diversity has gained prominence in C-Suites around the world as business leaders seek to develop a cohesive, collaborative and creative environment as a means of driving business growth. What often gets lost in this conversation is inclusive, the twin component of diversity that leads to business success.

According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), Diversity is the collective mixture of differences and similarities that include for example individual and organizational characteristics values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences and behaviour. Diversity can be split into two categories; visible diversity and invisible diversity. The former includes things such as sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, education, and parental status. The latter involves what is being emphasised and includes race, gender, physical abilities, age and body type.

Inclusion, which is closely related is a separate concept different from diversity. It is the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities, and resources and can fully contribute fully to the organization’s success.

The big question is “why is diversity and inclusion important in the workplace?”

There is a myriad of benefits to building a diverse and inclusive workplace. Inclusion is the only scalable way to build diversity within an environment, Diversity and inclusion isn’t about optics or an exercise in quota filling. Think of diversity as being similar to selecting people for a chorus who have different backgrounds, vocal ranges and abilities.

  • A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions and outcomes for everyone
  • Employees with different lifestyles and backgrounds challenge each other
  • Companies that openly value inclusion and a diverse workforce appeal to a wider- client base- The more diverse you are as an organization, the wider the appeal to a whole range of customers
  • Organizations that have a diverse and inclusive workforce have better financial performance. According to MCkinsey, companies in the top quartile for diversity were 33% more likely to have above average profitability than those in the bottom quartile.
  • Diverse and inclusive companies drive innovative results- The more diverse a workforce, the wider the pool of experience and knowledge available to tackle problems and create opportunities
  • Diverse companies are better able to attract top talent and offer improved customer orientation, decision-making and satisfaction.
  • A diverse workforce creates a more positive working relationship
  • A diverse and inclusive workforce increases employee retention

At Kimberly Ryan, we provide business support to organizations across diverse businesses in the area of organizational design, strategy and human resource consulting. We believe your workforce is your greatest assets and diversity provides you with insights to deal with business challenges or opportunities…so make diversity and inclusion a business imperative. Having a workforce that mirrors the makeup of your end user translates into value for your clients and makes you more attractive to a wider pool of prospective talent, thereby increasing Employer Branding.

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