Diversity and inclusion within business organizations is clearly on the rise. Beyond its good intentions and theoretical principles, it has a lot to contribute to improving concrete results in organizations. But for this, you have to understand exactly what we are talking about and how to use it to our advantage.
It is precisely what we intend with this article: to explain in a simple (and brief) manner what the idea of diversity and inclusion means in the business environment, why to implement it, how to do it, and what benefits we one can obtain from embracing it. Let’s get to it!
Diversity and inclusion in the company: why is it worth it?
Let’s start with a standard definition: the company’s set of mission / vision, strategies and practices aimed at supporting diversity and fostering inclusion with the goal of gaining a comparative advantage.
With that being said, it is convenient to differentiate between one thing and another. Diversity is nothing but a fact: we are all, to some extent, different. Inclusion, on the other hand, is the will to integrate all people, with their particular differences, into a larger whole, our organization or company.
In addition, a third idea could be added to this tandem that is equally as important: equity. Equity is understood as a treatment that is not based on differences, it represents the possibility for each person to contribute and develop with equal opportunities without these differences becoming a ballast.
What is good about diversity for a company?
We are all different; that implies different capacities, talents, sensitivities, approaches, attitudes. Whereas, Inclusion involves knowing how to incorporate this diversity in a constructive way in order, through the well-being of the team members, to achieve our organizational goals.
Challenges and strategies: equity is the key
Under this concept of diversity and inclusion in the company, a whole series of organizational strategies are collected, but also a few challenges. Nobody said it was easy. The “magic formula” of inclusion is given to you in this scientific article, but applying it in each case is another story.
The main challenges that are addressed go through finding a balance between uniqueness (feeling of being unique) and belongingness (feeling of belonging), and equity is the ideal starting point to play with both elements.
Logically, each case is a world on itw own, but these would be the basic strategies of diversity and inclusion based on equity:
- Start by believing it: being different does not mean you are better or worse.
- Regulations aside, recruiting is based on talent, not diversity itself.
- Diversity is not just about gender or race; also the talent and the objectives are diverse. Hear all the perspectives!
- Being fair is not being Solomonic, or trying to keep everyone happy at all times.
- Openly showing that diversity is appreciated and inclusion is pursued is just as important as doing so
- As in many other aspects of the business organization, it is important to monitor changes, check if the measures that are taken have a positive impact.
What results can be expected?
Here comes the good stuff. It seems proven that betting on equitable inclusion pays off.
From the point of view of creativity and innovation, it is clear that a team with members coming from different backgrounds can offer different perspectives that, if combined properly, can give a lot of themselves to the whole (that is, to the company and to each of its members).
In addition, it is easier to generate a richer and stronger company culture, as well as more open communication and more stable engagement. This results in high rates not only of retention but also of talent attraction; an essential factor in the labor panorama of the present and of the next decades.
More prosaic aspects (but no less important) such as the expansion of market shares or access to a better-qualified workforce also seem directly related to the processes of equitable inclusion implemented in companies that have already started to work.
Inclusion in the company is more of a necessity than an option
To this day, all this business D&I is not something that can be chosen, but a requirement of the work and organizational dynamics. Do not stay behind!