August 27, 2020
By Diane Benson Harrington, Smart Brief
The push for diversity, inclusion and workplace equity isn’t a fad; it’s a sea change that all businesses need to be a part of. It’s not enough for companies to use social media or websites to embrace Black Lives Matter, gender equality and similar causes. What matters is weaving diversity and inclusion seamlessly into the company culture.
HR executives can play a crucial role by implementing initiatives and leading the C-suite and managers away from unconscious bias or inadvertent racism or bigotry.
Equity in the workplace is vital if your company wants to reach its true potential. Studies have shown that workplaces with a diverse workforce up and down the organizational chart reap rewards: increased innovation, stronger appeal on the global canvas, a richer bottom line, more engaged workers, better retention, higher-quality applicants and less vulnerability during a crisis.
Ignoring diversity and inclusion can lead to the opposite of all these benefits and can create a number of problems, from employment discrimination lawsuits to devastating PR. In short, diverse companies with diverse workforces simply allow for a wider variety of perspectives, experiences and opportunities for learning.
It’s a mistake to think workplace equity is just a matter of hiring more Black employees or promoting a woman or two. Diversity relates to people who often are discriminated against based on age, class, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or sexual orientation. Be aware that different generations may define equality or diversity differently.
Inclusion refers to colleagues who are supportive, respectful, tolerant and willing to engage and collaborate, writes Somen Mondal, CEO and co-founder of job-screening technology firm Ideal.