Equality and diversity in the workplace are the most trended topics in HR and management. With changing times and mindsets, the definition of an ideal workplace has changed. Nowadays, an ideal workplace is where talent belonging to varied economic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, and skills, is given equal opportunity and fair treatment. But how should you promote equality and diversity in the workplace?
While this may seem like a goodwill strategy at first, a fair and diverse workplace has a direct impact on the profitability and likeability of an organization as well. Let us have a look at some findings which prove the importance of diversity, inclusion and equality in an organization.
More than 43% of companies with a diverse board of management cited higher profits than their counterparts.
Companies with a higher diversity quotient have 70% more chances of capturing new markets.
Inclusive organizations are better equipped to meet their financial goals. They are 120% more likely to meet their set targets.
The aforementioned figures are only a tiny glimpse of the power of being inclusive, equal and diverse in today’s time. In this article, we will be exploring the meaning, importance and impact of a diverse and equal workplace.
What Is Equality and Diversity in the Workplace?
To put it in a simpler context, diversity in the workplace refers to having a workforce which differs with each other in terms of race, religion, gender, orientation, age and even, education. Having a diverse workforce signifies a culture of inclusion and a progressive mindset where talent and opportunities walk alongside each other.
However, diversity is incomplete without the provision of equality. As an equal opportunity employer, an organization is expected to treat every individual equally in terms of work opportunity and pay.
Embracing diversity and providing equality goes a long way in promoting a work culture which values talent beyond stereotypes and helps people reach their potential by contributing their best beyond any prejudice. Moreover, an inclusive workplace fosters better productivity and efficiency.
Legal Aspects of Ensuring Equality and Diversity in the Workplace
While these form an important part of the social fabric of a country, legal acts help in their implementation. In the UK, there are many acts in place which propagate and advocate an equal, diverse and inclusive society. They are –
Equality Act, 2010
Sex Discrimination Act
Disability Discrimination Act
Race Relation Act
Human Rights Act
Although these are legal basis for ensuring companies treat people fairly and equally, it is paramount that a company develops and promotes cultural approach to equality and diversity.
Benefits and Importance of Equality and Diversity in the Workplace
You may be wondering that, albeit the idea sounds great, how that impacts on your company specifically. Among many ways, here are a few:
Helps Adding New Skills to the Team: As per research in Cloverpop, a diverse team makes better decision 87% of the time. A team consisting of people coming from a different background would always have a variety of skills, mindsets and approach towards work. For example, a woman employee can bring more empathy to the team. Likewise, a new entrant from Gen-Z can bring in better technological understanding. Similarly, people from different ethnicities and regions bring their unique strengths and personal experience to the team. A team that values differences can flourish in all aspects and ensure wholesome growth.
Helps Promoting Innovation: As per a Deloitte report, diverse organisations show better innovation and creativity in their decision and solutions. A more inclusive and diverse company adapts different viewpoints and can think in 360 degrees. A diverse organisation has voices and thoughts from different backgrounds which get an equal opportunity. As a result, there is a better scope for new learnings and fresh perspectives in every area of business. Let’s say you are a part of an advertising company and you have to finalise an artist for your ad jingle. If your team has members from only one ethnicity or age group, you would steer towards similar tunes.
Helps Reaching New Markets: In today’s world, globalisation is the key to long-term success. A diverse team ensures you have the right knowledge to tap into new customer group or geographical markets altogether. A diverse product design team would always conceptualise products with features that can appeal to a larger number of people. Similarly, establishing your business in a new country, say any Asian country, would become simpler if you had an Asian in your core team. Why hire a translator in India if you have a team member whose native language is Hindi? Why hire multilingual tele callers when you have team members well-versed in different languages? Cultural experience matters in internacionalisation of a product or service.
Helps in Hiring Best Talent: It is no secret that talent is the lifeline of an organisation, and an inclusive one has a better chance of hiring better resources. As per reports, around 72% of employees consider inclusion and diversity as an important factor in choosing an employer. Similarly, another research by PWC UK stated that 82% of female millennials give importance to a company's policy on inclusion and diversity while applying for a job. Clearly, a diverse team fosters a better brand reputation for your business.
In 2020, societal boundaries have blurred. Therefore, it is important to consider that: An organisation which embraces this fact and promotes a culture of diversity and inclusion has a better chance at sustainable success and conducive work culture.
“The business case for diversity is simple,” stated Laura Hinton, head of people at PwC UK. “If we want to deliver value for our clients, we need diverse talent, views and thinking that reflects the society in which we work.”
The future workforce values diversity immensely as the world is only going to become more colourful in terms of race, religion and other such factors.
The only way to remain relevant as an employer is to ensure that your employees feel comfortable in their skin and are judged for their talent alone. An equal, fair and inclusive employer is ideal for the upcoming generation who carry their identity on their sleeve.
Thus, we conclude by quoting an anonymous genius “The future is intersectional”.