Organisations that embrace workplace diversity are not only great places to work, but also hold a competitive business advantage. Workplaces that value, understand and accommodate difference have the ability to draw on a range of experience, knowledge and perspectives in decision making and team building.
“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.” — Sundar Pichai
Workplace diversity can come in many forms. These include:
- Cultural diversity: including people of different race and ethnicity
- Disability and ability: including people of all abilities including physical and cognitive ability
- Generational diversity: including people of different ages, including mature aged and youth
- Gender: including a mix of both male, female and non-binary genders including clear policy on parental leave and domestic violence support
- LGBTQ+: including people of different sexual orientations
- Socioeconomic: including people from varying socioeconomic backgrounds
- Personality styles: including people of varying personality traits and styles
Building diversity into the workforce needs to be supported by inclusion. An inclusive workplace is one that encourages diversity and supports its employees to apply their individual skills, knowledge and experience.
Developing diversity and inclusion in the workforce can deliver a variety of benefits to teams within an organisation including increased employee satisfaction and performance, whilst also minimising risk of harassment and discrimination.
An inclusive workplace in a nutshell:
- Inclusive teams are more innovative and effective than non-inclusive teams
- Employees are 9 times more likely to provide excellent customer service
- Employee satisfaction is higher
- Employee turnover is lower
- Employees are 7 times less likely to experience harassment and discrimination
- 3 out of 4 workers say inclusion matters to them at work
– Inclusion@Work report Diversity Council of Australia
The business advantages of a diverse workforce:
- Better customer service delivery
- Improved decision making
- Enhanced creativity and productivity
- Greater scope for innovation
- Enhanced community representation and engagement
- Improved conflict resolution
- Bridging of skill gaps
A 2011 report by Deloitte found more diverse and inclusive workplaces saw on average an 83% improvement on their ability to innovate, a 31% improvement in the ability to respond to changing customer needs, and a 42% improvement in team collaboration.
Organisations that promote a diverse and inclusive workplace attract great talent and create a space where people of different backgrounds and abilities feel welcomed and supported. The flow on effect from this provides substantial value to the organisation, its customers and shareholders.
“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” — Jesse Jackson
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