Why diversity and inclusion matters in the workplace

Why diversity and inclusion matters in the workplace

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a hot topic at the moment, with many companies trying to be more inclusive and aim for a diverse workforce. This is a great step forward, because having a plan for diversity and inclusion can really benefit your employees and add value to your company.

What is diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Your company is diverse and inclusive if everybody feels like they’re equally supported in the workplace, regardless of their:

·      Gender
·      Ethnicity
·      Background
·      Sexual orientation
·      Neurodiversity
·      Disability
·      Mental health
·      Religion

While diversity and inclusion are interconnected, they are two different concepts and aren’t interchangeable.

Definition of diversity

Diversity is about the make-up or representation of the people in your company. For example, if you have 99 white people and one person of colour in a 100-employee organisation, you don’t have a diverse representation. That doesn’t mean that you need to have exactly a certain number of people of colour in your company, but you do need to think about employing people from a wide range of ethnicities, genders and backgrounds.

Definition of inclusion

Inclusion covers how well your company takes into account the different needs, perspectives and contributions of the different people in your company. For example, women have a lower metabolic rate than men which makes them feel the cold more easily. Having the temperature in the office set low and not allowing people to wear jumpers or bring hot water bottles in isn’t exactly inclusive to women. If you have a diverse organisation without meeting the needs of those different groups of people, it isn’t inclusive.

Why is diversity and inclusion in the workplace important?

Focusing on diversity and inclusion is important to your company in the following four ways:

1. Encourages creativity

If your employees feel happy in their workplace, they’re going to focus more on work and have a better space in which to be creative. Diverse teams bring a variety of experiences and are more likely to come up with a solution that works for all of your customers. Besides, isn’t it better to have a customer-facing team who represent the people you want to buy your products?

2. Promotes a more attractive work environment

Employees do their research on your company beforehand and two-thirds of them specifically look for a diverse and inclusive environment – this is even higher with Millennials and Gen Z candidates. They’re looking for a place where they can fit in and be heard. If your company has a poor reputation for promoting diversity and inclusion, work will get out and you’ll struggle to attract great talent.

3. Provides a better hiring and onboarding process

Once you’ve attracted great talent, you want them to stay there. Your company website can promote diversity and inclusion until the end of time. But if a female candidate of colour interviews with all white men, they may feel uncomfortable about the lack of diversity and be reluctant to join your business.

4. Encourages empathy

A workplace culture is determined from the top downwards. Your employees are much more likely to show empathy towards one another if you’re empathetic towards all of them and their needs. A lack of empathy in the workplace creates friction, causing employees to be less productive and nobody wants that.

How diversity and inclusion can benefit your company

Research has proven that having a diverse and inclusive workplace is the best way to improve company performance, with links to:

·      An employee retention rate of up to 5.4 times higher – so you’re more likely to keep the workers you’ve taken the time to train
·      Better quality work is produced – making your company more efficient.
·      More innovation within all levels of the business – employees all over the business are more likely to dream up great ideas.
·      Employees being up to 9.8 times more likely to look forward to going to work – a happier workforce is a more productive workforce.
·      Higher growth in revenue – who wouldn’t want this?

This shows that caring about diversity and inclusion at your company not only attracts great talent, but also helps to keep hold of the talent you attracted in the first place. It’s really a no brainer – keeping your employees happy makes them more likely to stay and gives you a good reputation within your industry.

Why you need a diversity and inclusion plan

You may not have a diverse or inclusive workforce and not even be aware of it. Unconscious bias is often prevalent in people who make hiring or promotional decisions without them meaning to be biased. We’re often attracted to people who remind us of ourselves or look like us physically – not necessarily in a sexual way, but in a way that makes us more likely to offer them a job. This is why it’s important to train your workforce on the need for diversity and inclusion and create a plan for promoting it in the workplace.  

How we can help 

Here at Digital Accelerators we’re committed to providing you with a skilled, diverse workforce. With more than ten year of experience recruiting in the tech scene, our experts can support your recruitment needs. Contact us to find out more.

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