Five reasons why workplace diversity and inclusion matters

29 March 2022 Sharyn Waterworth

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Does your company promote workplace diversity and inclusion? 
Because as it turns out, diverse and inclusive companies, who actively recruit and celebrate people for their social and cultural differences, see not only a growth in their revenue, but happier, more fulfilled employees. 
And isn’t that what every company should be striving for? 

What is workplace diversity and inclusion?

Workplace diversity and inclusion (D&I) is about truly embracing, celebrating, discussing and centring your employees' unique backgrounds, beliefs and lived experiences in their work life. 
And while diversity and inclusion may be thrown around interchangeably, it’s important to note that they do mean different things. 
 
Diversity refers to the employees who make up your company, and the array of characteristics they may have, such as: their gender, sex, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. 
 A diverse workplace also extends to including neurodivergent team members, team members with disabilities, and other differences. 
And while you may have a diverse workplace, it’s possible it’s not an inclusive one. Inclusivity is all about acting on your team's diversity — it’s what makes a workplace innovative, profitable and engaging
 It means no one is denied education, resources or support. It means everyone in the team can see themselves reflected in senior management. And it also means differences are viewed as attributes, not weaknesses. 
 Because if you have a diverse workplace, but your culture only takes into account the voices of a particular group of people, or someone’s perspective is automatically weighted as more ‘valuable’ simply because of their sex, race or gender, then it’s not an inclusive place to work. 

5 big reasons why workplace diversity and inclusion matters

  1. Higher revenue growth

Research has shown many benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace, including the undeniable fact that companies who prioritise D&I see higher revenue growth. 
In fact, companies with greater gender diversity, as well as greater cultural and ethnic diversity, are more likely to outperform companies who do not prioritise a diverse and inclusive workplace. 
  1. Increased ability to recruit a diverse talent pool

When your company welcomes, hires and promotes employees from different backgrounds your workplace will thrive. Why? Because D&I is all about being collaborative and uplifting — something that will exponentially improve your employees' wellbeing.  
And when word gets out about how positive your workplace culture is? More talented candidates from a diverse pool will be stepping up to join your team. 
  1. Companies with good D&I have 5.4 times higher employee retention

Poor retention rates are no fun for anyone. HR has to keep filling roles, the company burns through needless amounts of money and employees are endlessly on the hunt for a job that makes them feel good.  
So, when a workplace champions an employee’s background and makes them feel important, they’re fostering trust and loyalty. Which means, employees are far more likely to hang around for the long haul.  
Minorities who feel ‘othered’ in their workplace aren’t going to feel a sense of connection and belonging to a company — and rightly so. They’re far more likely to jump ship and join a team that actually embraces them. 
  1. Employees are 9.8 times more likely to look forward to going to work

This is a big one! Have you ever dreaded going to work? Stats show that creating a welcoming and inclusive environment that celebrates differences instead of punishing them, means more people are looking forward to going to work. Go figure!
  1. Employees are 6.3 times more likely to have pride in their work

If you’re proud of where you work and what your workplace stands for, then it makes sense you’ll have more pride in the work you create for your company. When employees feel accepted and supported, their standard of work will reflect it. 

How to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Demonstrating workplace diversity and inclusion is a continuous process that takes time, thought and careful consideration. The best thing you can do for your company is start a dialogue with your employees. 
  • What changes would they like to see the company make? 
  • What would make them feel included and celebrated? 
  • Have they noticed any shortcomings that you may have overlooked? 
From there, make sure your management team understands the importance of D&I and create an environment where employees feel comfortable talking about and celebrating their differences. No one ever wants to hide who they truly are — it causes stress, imposter syndrome and low self esteem. 
Here are a few actions you can take to start promoting workplace diversity and inclusion immediately: 
  1. Acknowledge and honour multiple religious and cultural practices;
  2. Foster a company culture where every voice is welcome, heard, and respected;
  3. Make an effort to bring more diversity to leadership staff;
  4. Actively seek out vendors, suppliers, customers, and clients from underrepresented parts of society.  
Do you need assistance hiring the right fit for your workplace? Our network fosters a diverse talent pool of keen job hunters. Learn more about our services here.