Take action | The need for workplace inclusivity, not just diversity

The need for workplace inclusivity, not just diversity
Promoted by The need for workplace inclusivity, not just diversity

We are seeing a greater awareness and commitment to diversity in the workplace – as we are in society – but on its own, it’s not enough. To bring truly sustainable change, employers must ensure inclusivity, not just diversity.

Diversity vs Inclusion

Where diversity is all about a varied representation of employees, inclusion is about ensuring each individual is accepted, valued and integrated into the workplace. Employing people from diverse backgrounds is just the first step: without inclusion, such actions are nothing more than ‘tick boxing’ or paying lip service to diversity.

Shifting talk to action

The news agenda influences views and actions around diversity – just look at the impact of Black Lives Matter and the death of George Floyd. Yet riding the social wave or taking a ‘one protected characteristic at time’ approach is not the solution. Employers must go further and seek to connect and include everyone and never overlook or exclude anyone.

When we think of diversity, we mostly think of race or gender as these have the highest profile in the media. However, employers cannot afford to be narrow in their understanding of the full range of diversity including:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Neurodiversity

  • LGBTQ+

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Ethnicity

  • Disability – physical and mental

Looking across your workforce, can you hand-on-heart say all these different groups of people are represented? If not, why not? What are the barriers to you, as an employer, in inviting people with these characteristics to join your organisation?

Embracing diversity makes business sense

Including people with diverse backgrounds and views can enrich an organisation as they bring a wealth of new perspectives to a business. An inclusive workplace can also attract top talent – both from individuals with a protected characteristic and those who simply want to be part of an organisation that embraces diversity. Outside their office walls, inclusive companies are better able to attract customers and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds who are reassured to see their culture and lifestyle represented within an organisation.

“As with any great change, achieving an inclusive workplace starts by taking one step in the right direction. We work to bridge the gap between diverse communities and corporate organisations to help employers create an inclusive environment by embedding DEI into everything they practice.”
Paul Sesay, Founder & CEO of Inclusive Companies

Five steps to inclusivity

  • Recognise that change in an organisation starts with inclusive leadership training from where best practice will cascade down and across the business.

  • Conduct an internal audit / evaluation of how diverse your workforce is currently. Look at ALL areas of diversity, including age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+ and religion and note where there is under-representation.

  • Engage expert training and guidance to create and embed a sustained, action-focused approach to enhance a high-performance culture that brings tangible impact for employees, customers and clients.

  • Involve colleagues from across your organisation to discuss and agree the core principles that will form the pillars of a consistent approach.

  • Regularly review the diverse representation within your business and engage with these individuals to ensure their voice is truly heard and their culture and lifestyle fully integrated into their workday.

Inclusive Companies helps organisations create cultural transformation through a “hearts and mind” approach ensuring social inclusion becomes a core, integral component. To enable your organisation to achieve equality, diversity and inclusion, visit the link below. 

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