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Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Updated on :

February 28, 2024
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Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

D&I, or diversity and inclusion, are closely related workplace values that organizations seek to exemplify. Why? It is because both of the concepts together allow people from diverse backgrounds to work together happily. 

While diversity implies that a workplace has a diverse workforce— with people from different social categories like gender, race, age, etc. On the other hand, workplace inclusion calls for equitable treatment and respect for all, equal access to opportunities and resources, and equally valued individuals. 

To make their workforce able to respond to different consumer needs, organizations strive to focus on diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

High levels of D&I are often associated with better problem-solving, greater innovation, higher productivity, and workforce retention. However, to realize these benefits, organizations must understand how the two are related yet different. 

Diversity focuses on the composition of your workforce. Inclusion, however, defines how well you value and integrate the perspectives and contributions of diverse employees. This article will help you understand what diversity and inclusion are and the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

What is Diversity in the Workplace?

A diverse workforce comprises people from different backgrounds. There are multiple diversity dimensions in the workplace. While some are visible to the world, others are internal. Some remain the same, and still, others can be controlled and changed. It includes genders, races, sexual orientations, ages, ethnicities, and religions.

What is Diversity in the Workplace?

Diversity means your employees are individuals who come from different backgrounds and bring forward new perspectives. In fact, a survey showed that diverse companies accumulated 19% higher revenue and 9% higher EBIT margins.

Here is an example to illustrate why diversity matters in the business. Say a retail company hires employees of a specific culture. Consequently, their preferences, thoughts and decisions often influence merchandise selection, marketing campaigns, and customer service. 

Let’s say the employees are supposed to deliver an ad campaign for a festival they do not generally celebrate. While their education and expertise will allow them to curate a presentable campaign, they might not fully understand the values and feelings of the festival as most of them have a similar cultural background. This out-of-touch ad campaign may not resonate as much with those who do celebrate the festival.

Having a more diverse team would allow better insights into the specific preferences and values of a wider audience. Hence, diversity helps create culturally aligned products and services, leading to more robust customer engagement.

The benefits of diversity are not only for employers. It presents equal opportunities and an enriching experience for employees. It exposes employees to new ideas and promotes cultural awareness, fostering continuous learning and growth.

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What is Inclusion in the Workplace?

Inclusion in the workplace primarily means ensuring everyone feels valued and respected as an individual. It builds a space where your employees can come to work, feel confident to be themselves and work in a way that suits them to deliver your business needs.

A diverse workforce is essential. However, developing a work culture where all people feel included is as important. A company is diverse when it employs people from different religions, genders, races, and sexual orientations. However, the company must value all employee perspectives the same to be called inclusive.

And that marks the primary difference between diversity and inclusion. About 83% of millennials actively engage in work within an inclusive culture.

Imagine a software startup with a handful of employees from diverse backgrounds. However, they rarely get to suggest and share their ideas during team meetings and decision-making processes. The management consistently values the views of employees with similar cultures.

This way, the company unknowingly loses multiple opportunities to capture other market segments and maximize the potential of their product. The continuous undervaluation of insights makes employees demoralized and disengaged over time. Eventually, they begin seeking job offers elsewhere, resulting in a loss of valuable talent and innovation.

Fostering inclusivity, therefore, is essential in the workplace. It promotes growth and innovation and significantly helps in increasing employee retention. Research revealed that 69% of business executives believe diversity and inclusion to be a vital aspect and an important challenge to overcome.

Benefits of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Now that you know the precise meaning, the question comes- why are diversity and inclusion important? Let's face it. The need for diversity and inclusion in the workplace is no longer debatable. And it is more than just a progressive trend; diversity and inclusion go beyond mere representation. 

In fact, diverse organizations enjoy 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee. Hence, diversity is an intelligent investment in shaping a workforce that mirrors the markets and helps you serve them more effectively. Further, over 35% of inclusive and diverse teams can outperform their competitors. 

Incorporating diversity and inclusion practices results in employee retention, innovation, positive employee engagement, and increased revenue. Given below are the many benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace:

1. Enhanced Creativity and Innovation

A diverse workplace includes individuals with varied cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds. Each employee puts a novel set of specialties, experiences, and perspectives into the table. Their differences create a rich environment for brainstorming and collaboration. It boosts out-of-the-box thinking, experimentation and sparks unique insights and ideas.

Did you know inclusive teams are over 35% more likely to be productive? It is because such teams have people from different backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences. Such diversity allows for better problem-solving, innovative thinking, and bringing unique ideas to the table. 

2. Improved Problem-Solving

You will receive one traditional technique to tackle a problem in a room of like-minded people. One of the benefits of workplace diversity is it brings together individuals with different backgrounds and expertise. Their experience and knowledge allow them to craft better and more creative solutions to a problem.

A group of diverse employees analyzes the problem from multiple angles and identifies causes and complexities. They share their opinions and inputs to navigate the issue with enhanced problem-solving skills.

3. Better Market Research

Diverse employee groups prove to be more innovative and socially aware. It underscores one of the many benefits of diversity your business can experience. These teams can process facts more carefully and contribute to viable market research.

Diverse teams can discern and anticipate the changing needs, preferences, and behaviors of various demographic groups. Further, they can materialize relevant marketing strategies to captivate different communities.

Related Read: How Global Businesses Can Establish Clear Company-Wide Goals

4. Increased Profitability

About 67% of job seekers consider diversity a significant aspect when looking for employment. Organizations displaying ethnic, age, and gender diversity attract more job applicants. It gives you a chance to curate top talent for your business.

Working in a place that prioritizes diversity and inclusion in the workforce makes employees happier. It will reflect on the work they produce and enable employees to thrive in their job roles. It will allow your business to flourish, which equals success!

5. Social Responsibility

When investing or engaging with companies, Investors and customers keep a keen eye on ESG, i.e., Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance. Diversity plays a crucial role in how they evaluate ESG. Around 71% of consumers want firms to include diversity and inclusion in advertising.

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace ensure your commitment to providing equitable opportunities, representation, and respectful workspace. It reduces bias, helps address societal inequalities, and uplifts communities.

Integrating diversity and inclusion in the workforce thus offers numerous advantages. A diverse team can maximize your bottom line and impact everything, from recruitment and engagement to productivity and problem-solving. 

However, “Hiring diverse talent isn’t enough— it’s the workplace experience that shapes whether people remain and thrive” - McKinsey. 

A positive employee experience is equally crucial. Currently, only about 49% employees feel satisfied with their job experience, making it crucial for companies to work on the overall employee experience besides fostering diversity and inclusion where all in-house and remote workers thrive.

Manage Your Global Team With Skuad

The rise of distributed work and the need for a diverse workforce has organizations searching for alternative employment solutions. The competitive corporate landscape only adds to the necessity of scaling and expanding your business. 

Building and managing a diverse, inclusive, and global team is the first step to entering new markets and industries. With Skuad’s unified platform, you can easily hire, onboard, pay, and manage talent in 160+ countries while staying compliant with local employment laws. 

Book a demo with Skuad today to learn how we can help you build and manage your distributed team seamlessly.

FAQs

Q1. Do diversity and inclusion help organizations retain people longer?

Diversity and inclusion ensure employees feel satisfied in the workplace. It increases their loyalty, and employees become more inclined to stay longer where their efforts and contributions are appreciated and recognized.

Q2. Does diversity and inclusion improve productivity?

Good teamwork increases productivity in business. It is so because a diverse team provides unique experiences and skills and helps others to learn and grow together. It allows companies to reach their objectives in a shorter time and gain a competitive edge in the market.

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About the author

Sandeep Patel is a Content Marketing Manager and Strategist. Over the last five years, he has created and managed content for global brands and fintech startups. He is passionate about remote work and using tech for a better work-life balance.

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