Why should you focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace?

With an increasing focus on conversations about racism and discrimination in the workplace, companies are serious about maintaining diversity in their organisations.

Apart from being the right thing to do, businesses are starting to recognise the numerous benefits that a diverse workforce brings to an organisation.

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Workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are important pillars of a healthy company culture and a welcoming workplace. But what does DEI mean in 2022? How can companies ensure diversity and inclusion in the workplace? Let’s find out!

What is diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace?

Diversity, equity and inclusion are interconnected concepts but quite different from each other. Diversity refers to equal representation of people from different backgrounds, races, genders and countries. Equity refers to the concept where company processes provide equal opportunities for everyone to grow and develop their career prospects. Lastly, inclusion is about valuing and respecting employees’ perspectives and opinions irrespective of their age, gender, background or race.

Why is diversity and inclusion important in any workplace?

Discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation and age is still a problem in Europe and across the globe. It is vital for companies to take the initiative to address this issue and ensure this kind of discrimination is targeted during the hiring process. Making your company DEI-friendly makes your organisation more ethical and attractive to potential employees. Here are a few benefits of equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

  • Employee happiness and engagement levels would improve: People generally tend to be loyal to an organisation when they feel valued and included. Effective DEI initiatives at the workplace can boost employee engagement and retention levels. A recent Deloitte study reports that workplaces with good DEI performed 5.4 times better than non-inclusive companies when it came to employee retention.
  • It can foster greater innovation and creativity among employees: Having a positive environment with people from different backgrounds means employees can bring their unique experiences and perspectives to their work. This can lead to a surge of innovation and creation in the workplace. A study published in greatplacetowork.com found that teams tended to innovate 2 times more when there was ample diversity in the teams.
  • Hiring people from diverse backgrounds can multiply available skill sets: People irrespective of their age, gender or backgrounds can bring different skill sets to the table. Promoting inclusivity and equity can help management widen the skill sets available for company growth.
  • General productivity levels would increase: When people feel valued and included, they tend to work harder at their jobs and achieve better productivity levels. Thus, making your company DEI-friendly can ensure a more productive and happier workforce.
  • Senior management can gain a better understanding of customers: Having a diverse workforce can ensure that your internal teams reflect your actual customer population outside the workplace. This can help you generate unique customer viewpoints which can improve your sales and revenue. A study by i-Sight found that DEI-friendly companies consistently outperformed in terms of annual profits.
  • The company can have wider talent pools: If your business is diverse and inclusive, you will naturally have more options to choose from when it comes to sourcing new talent. You would also be emphasising the importance of hiring people based on merit and genuine criteria, which would bring in more qualified people and resources.

How can you ensure DEI as a business leader?

Fortunately, there are several ways to cultivate and promote DEI in the workplace. As a mindful human resource management professional or a business leader, it would be your job to encourage recognition of racism, sexism, homophobia etc. and foster honest communication about these issues.

Here are a few tips that can help you ensure DEI at your workplace as a business leader.

  • Recruit women or other marginalised groups who have left the workforce
  • Use your current DEI accomplishments to hire people on merit
  • Prioritise DEI for retaining your employees
  • Ensure you have system in place to support differently-abled candidates
  • Have a DEI lens to examine your remote working policies
  • Ensure mandatory DEI training for all members of senior management
  • Ensure that all business communications are inclusive
  • Listen to your employees to learn about their DEI issues

As a business, it is your responsibility to ensure hiring processes that work against exclusion and discrimination. Additionally, creating a company culture centred around DEI can add to your leadership skills and your credibility as a business leader.

An apt way to educate yourself on the latest DEI trends is to invest in an appropriate MSc human resource management programme. The course can help you learn how to formulate DEI-friendly business management strategies and handle people from diverse backgrounds.

GISMA Business School in Germany offers a comprehensive MSc Leadership and Human Resource Management programme that can help you learn about DEI in the workplace. The master’s degree in leadership has a relevant module called, Leading, Managing and Developing People, which allows you to learn how to make a workplace inclusive and diverse.

Additionally, the master’s degree in human resource management can also help you pick up expertise in business leadership and corporate decision-making. The hybrid learning format can allow you to benefit from both in-person and online learning models.

Click  here to enrol on the human resource management programme at GISMA.


 – This article was written by Sweha Hazari.

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