Create a culture of diversity and inclusion in your workplace
Diversity is traditionally concerned with group identity, defined by common characteristics like race, ethnicity, age, sex, religion – and, most recently, sexual orientation and gender identity. But diversity isn’t the same thing as inclusion. If employees are afraid of retaliation, if policies don’t support diversity or aren’t enforced, or if a company’s workforce and branding don’t reflect a diverse culture, even the most diverse workforce is excluded from contributing their great value to the company.
Embracing diversity is correlated with better profitability, opportunities in new markets, a better customer experience, lower employee turnover and customer churn, an enhanced reputation and increased market share.
Employees are highly sensitive to diversity, equality and inclusion as workplace issues. This is especially true in an era of renewed focus on civil rights, and the influence of a younger generation that prioritises authenticity. A “check-the-box” approach to diversity and inclusion damages trust among customers and employees and sets the company up for potential liability and litigation in the future.
Customers and employees should see themselves reflected in the leadership team, salesforce, marketing materials and anywhere they encounter the company. It’s the right thing to do. But it’s not always easy.