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Diversity and Inclusion in The Modern Workplace

Diversity and Inclusion in The Modern Workplace

In the modern-day organization, the crux of the diversity crisis is often around skin color, racial or ethnic origin, age, gender, sexuality amongst others. In the previous years, diversity has been misconceived to multicultural matters.  With the raging protests on #BlackLivesMatter following the death of George Floyd in the United States of America, it has become imperative for organizations to look at their policies around diversity and inclusion. 

What is Diversity?

Simply put, diversity means the state of being different. It therefore means that for an organization to claim having a diverse workforce, it needs to accept the concept of cultural diversity. Rather than trend #BlackLivesMatter, we can do better with #WeAllAreHumans or #WeAreEqual. We have had cases in Nigeria where employees were being discriminated against following their ethnic group, gender and religion.

Diversity is the acceptance of variations of different characteristics in a group of people. To put in context of the workplace, Workplace diversity means that an organization/ employer of labor hires a wide range of diverse individuals, irrespective of their skin colour, language, gender, religion, marital status etc. 

What is Inclusion?

Inclusion is an extension to the concept of diversity and seeks to buttress diversity by ensuring that the participation of the diverse individuals (employees in this context) is equal. Inclusion seeks to ensure the equal participation of the diverse individuals in the organization. It seeks to ensure that there is no glass ceiling within an organization based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. 

Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand. It is not enough to have a diverse workforce say 50 – 50 male and female ratios, and they have a glass ceiling against females getting to executive positions. In clearer words, inclusion is not possible without diversity and diversity without inclusion is not enough. 

Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.

  • Creativity and Diverse Perspective

Diversity allows people with diverse backgrounds and ideologies to work in a team. This means, the makeup of the team is with experiences and this encourages different views. Also, having people with diverse backgrounds means better and improved idea generation which is creativity and innovation. 

  • Better Decision Making

There is a direct relationship between diversity, inclusion and decision making. A highly diverse workforce solves problems faster because the people see the problem from different views and experiences, and this is what enables solutions. Diverse views and experiences result in better decision making.

  • Company Goodwill and Improved hiring result.

An organization known for diversity and inclusion is said to be a more socially responsible organization. Such organization (s), perceived to be socially responsible, attracts more talents and clients compared to organizations with less diversity and inclusion culture. 

  • Employee engagement and reduced employee turnover. 

The popular saying “Employees stay where they are engaged and valued” comes to mind. A diverse and inclusive organization ensures that all employees are accepted and valued equally. So, when employees feel accepted, valued, and engaged, they are happier and tend to stay longer. 

How to encourage diversity and inclusion.

  1. By consciously recruiting from a stratum – gender, ethnic origin, race etc.
  2. Involve the middle level managers in all diversity and inclusion activities.
  3. Invest in diversity management training.
  4. Sound a cultural retune.

Employers should start embracing every aspect of change as the world evolves. All persons are born equal and should be treated likewise. The crusade on The New Normal should not only be targeted at revamping work processes, it should also ensure that employees are treated fairly and equally in this new world of work.

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