Why are Diversity and Inclusion Important in the Workplace?

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What does diversity and inclusion mean?

Diversity and inclusion, also known as diversity, equity, and inclusion or DE&I, means different things to different groups of people. Unfortunately, for many, it’s just some facet of their company that they don’t fully understand. In other instances, though, diversity and inclusion is an integral part of a company’s culture, one that champions differences and leverages skills and experiences for the benefit of everyone.

Partnering with the experts at CoachDiversity Institute produces certified individuals capable of establishing critical changes towards diversity and inclusion. Being a certified Diversity Coach can tackle all forms of discrimination, including those in the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and other socioeconomic disadvantaged individuals.

Diversity and inclusion helps corporations, non-profit organizations, government entities, and educational institutions unlock potential within employees. Workplaces that implement robust diversity and inclusion initiatives see benefits their competitors don’t. It’s not always monetary, either. With improved problem solving, better hiring practices, and more decision-making involvement, diverse and inclusive environments can be your competitive advantage.

The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion is more than filling quotas, hitting metrics, or corporate initiatives. It’s about valuing every individual and leveraging their diverse talents to build authentic, inclusive environments. These inclusive workforces translate into tangible benefits for organizations prioritizing diversity and inclusion. Without diversity and inclusion, marginalized individuals are susceptible to several forms of discrimination, including:

  1. Race Discrimination – Race discrimination takes many forms and often stems from unconscious bias. Demographic minorities often face microaggressions that lead to lower wages, missed opportunities, and in extreme cases, outright harassment. This type of discrimination can even be towards someone in an interracial relationship.
  2. Gender Discrimination – Many roles have traditional gender associations, leading to gender identity discrimination. Because of gender-identity stereotypes, it’s more challenging to find specific types of jobs, pay is unequal, and harassment causes workplace distractions. Gender diversity discrimination is rampant, especially toward LGBTQ individuals. Still, it can also impact pregnant women and cause mental health issues.
  3. Pay and Compensation Discrimination – One of the most significant challenges facing employee resource groups is the pay gap. Women and ethnically diverse individuals frequently see disparities in pay. The wage gap propagates through various methods, such as job title manipulation, maternity discrimination, and discriminatory hiring decisions that can lead to a lack of ethnic diversity.
  4. Sexual Orientation – In the landmark Bostock v. Clayton County, GA case in 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that firing individuals based on sexual orientation violates the law. While this progress is compelling, harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation still occurs in workplaces. Many times, harassment takes the form of derogatory language, rude remarks, or offensive jokes.
  5. Age Discrimination – It’s easy to assume that age discrimination refers to older individuals. Yet, discrimination happens to younger people just as often. Age discrimination occurs when one person favors another because of their age. For example, a millennial can be passed by for a promotion in favor of someone perceived to have more experience. Or, it can be that an older person with experience misses out because of age.

Teams with rich diversity and inclusion programs can hire top-tier talent, retain the most skilled employees, and generate higher profits than competing businesses. As workforces become more diverse and companies adapt to globalized teams, diversity and inclusion is more critical than ever before.

The Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion at Work

Diversity and inclusion provides benefits that stretch well beyond the tangible. Employees who work for organizations that include diversity and inclusion as an integral part of their workplace culture see employees who are far more loyal and productive. Teams are more effective, cohesive, and empowered, which are aspects of a working environment that translate into higher revenue and return patrons.

Increased Employee Engagement

Engagement is a hot-button issue within business environments, with diversity and inclusion being the keys to unlocking higher levels of interactions between senior leadership and administrative employees at all positions. Numerous studies point to diversity and inclusion improving relationships between executive teams and their subordinates, which leads to higher job satisfaction.

In environments where team members connect through diversity and inclusion, aspects of individuality shine through. Diverse companies don’t just celebrate individual perspectives. They leverage these different backgrounds to develop teams that provide support more readily, communicate without misunderstandings, and quickly support the organization during uncertain times. Plus, individuals in diverse and inclusive workplaces celebrate their organizations by spending time in corporate-sponsored events, representing the company positively, and bringing brand awareness.

Better Employee Retention

The adage goes, people don’t quit bad jobs, they quit bad managers, and a leader who doesn’t value the team will lose great people faster than an inclusive leader. Teams with diversity and inclusion embody the unique abilities everyone brings to the table, and leadership teams are quicker to connect and make decisions with the feedback from their teams.

Furthermore, studies show that teams with inclusive leaders are found to have increased work attendance due to an increased perception of inclusion that creates an improved employee experience.

Bigger Talent Pool

Unintended or unconscious biases prevent talented people from getting hired every day. Part of establishing a solid diversity and inclusion team is recognizing implicit biases that need attention. By becoming a certified diversity coach through CoachDiversity Institute, individuals have the power to recognize these biases. By working toward installing an inclusive hiring process, companies prevent quality employees from slipping away.

Organizations with diversity and inclusion as a cornerstone of their inclusion strategy have access to skilled workers that other companies don’t. Recognizing the differences within the talent pool and how those differences can fill specific gaps makes organizations more profitable, innovative, and adaptable. Plus, by being aware of unintended bias, hiring managers can focus on what really matters.

New Perspective and Innovation

The bottom line is that the business world relies on innovation and efficiency. Staying ahead of the market allows companies to avoid wasted money, time, or effort and remain profitable. But thinking outside the box isn’t always possible when everybody in the box thinks the same way. It takes a diverse team to undertake problem-solving in abnormal situations, develop the next best-selling gadget, and power the changes that dominate the world.

Having an inclusive culture makes a strong business case when examining these metrics. In a London School of Economics report, researchers found that technological innovation ranks higher in nations with an inclusive work environment. That means hubs of technology start-ups and innovative-centric businesses flourish in environments with diverse workforces.

Incorporate DEI Into Your Company with Coach Diversity Institute

Diversity and inclusion is an integral part of a successful organization. With business as competitive as ever, companies that implement diversity and inclusion have a better pick of skilled candidates, improved employee engagement, an inside track on innovation, and can retain top talent. Incorporating diversity and inclusion into your company’s culture paves the way for untapped benefits.

Setting up a robust diversity and inclusion program can be challenging. You don’t have to do it alone. CoachDiversity Institute’s DEI training courses and cultural competency training provide accredited certification opportunities. Certified diversity coaches have the tools and support needed to create lasting impacts in the lives of millions of workers worldwide!