Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are more than an organisation’s headcount, policy or internal program. An unbiased employer always surpasses their competitors because of the value placed on each team member’s individual needs, opinions, and capabilities. As a result, employees are more likely to trust and commit to diverse and inclusive environments.
Diversity in the workplace refers to individuals who bring different standpoints and experiences. Political beliefs, colour, culture, sexual orientation, religion, class, and gender identity distinctions are examples of diversity.
Inclusion means that everyone in your varied group in the organisation feels appreciated, respected, treated fairly, and is a part of your culture. Building an inclusive organisation empowers all employees and recognises their unique skills and abilities. It is not inclusive if there are many different genders, ethnicities, nations, sexual orientations, and identities present while only the viewpoints of specific groups are valued or have any authority or influence.
Although diversity and inclusion are closely related, they are not interchangeable. Diversity refers to a person’s or a group’s representation. The level to which diverse groups of people’s contributions, presence, and opinions are respected, appreciated and included in an environment is considered inclusion.
According to research, companies with diverse teams:
The findings of Oluyemi Theophilus Adeosun and Kayode Ebenezer Owolabi, as published in the journal of Business and social-economic development in 2021, show that gender inequality is more pronounced across the region, location and in some sectors of employment than the others. Geographical area has a higher effect on earnings disparity but is more pronounced among females. Also, the result showed that gender within inequality was high in the regions, education, location, and marital status, while a higher level of education contributes to high wages for women. However, married women are more deprived.
Creating, enabling and maintaining a diverse workforce leads to better business results such as – increased cash flow, innovation, enthusiasm for change, and better productivity in every organisation.
As written by Jobberman in 2018, The National Gender Policy of 2006 prescribes that the Nigerian government undertakes affirmative action policies ensuring that at least 35% of positions are given to women. However, women account for only 7 out of 36 or 19.4% of ministerial positions in the current government administration. This problem has often been linked to and is symptomatic of the lack of women in decision making positions in the Nigerian government, failing to represent the group’s makeup. This is perhaps best shown by looking at the Nigerian legislature, where women account for about 14 out of the 360 members of the country’s lower legislative house or 5.6%. This is a very poor number and rather problematic because if the government fails to adhere to or properly implement laws meant to improve diversity, then it is unlikely that the situation in the private sector will be fair or much better in the long run.
How To Create A Diverse And Inclusive Environment
1. Creating Policies that speak to Diversity and Inclusion – So long as the leadership of any organisation is committed to refining diversity in the workplace, the next steps will be to educate existing employees and recruit new staff responsible for promoting diversity. Staff need to be educated on several benefits that creating a diverse workplace brings to the organisation. This can be achieved by having training sessions and procedures to help make sure those who might have either conscious or unconscious bias towards others at the workplace are held liable for their actions to certify that the organisation is truthfully diverse.
2. Mentorship Programme – One of the most effective diversity programs is mentoring. Mentorship programs, according to research, can increase the representation of the unrepresented at all levels.
3. Inclusive Leadership – The CEO plays a vital role in fostering diversity in an organisation. When it comes to adopting workplace diversity and inclusion, they should be the first to react and set an example for the rest of your company’s employees.
4. Language Guide: Language is crucial in establishing a workplace culture where everyone feels welcomed and included. Make an inclusive language guide for your organisation and use it to start a conversation about the pros and cons of terms and phrases that are associated with workplace diversity and inclusion.
5. Sense of Belonging: Have a chat with a variety of your staff. Make sure employees feel heard! Inquire about your employees’ perspectives on diversity. Allow them to share the tale of your company’s diversity! Then utilise their quotes, images, etc. Be as real and open as possible!
6. Recruiting Right: Workplace diversity begins with recruitment. This is critical because you can talk about diversity all you want, but no real improvements will happen if one does not oblige to make true changes in your organisation. It all starts with employing a broad pool of individuals. Here are a few ideas on how to hire diversly:
- Make diversity very noticeable in your job posts
- Post job adverts on the diverse job and social media sites
- Implement blind screening of all résumés
- Use diverse interviewers for different job candidates
- Teach your recruiters how to avoid biases.
While most organisations say that diversity and inclusion remain a goal, activities in this area appear to be more towards quick fixes than long-term initiatives addressing diversity and inclusion. Many organisations have slowed down on their diversity and inclusion (D&I) journey without intentionally focusing on long-term or sustainable initiatives. Some organisations lack the leadership buy-in, a formalised strategy and governance structure required to take these plans to the next level, and they risk losing traction in this essential work.
These are some of the various initiatives that companies can use for Diversity and Inclusion. pcl. helps organisations address diversity and inclusion from many angles—we support employees, reward employees working on diversity and inclusion initiatives, offer public and inclusive recognition, and even infuse specific values around diversity and inclusion into the organisation’s programmes. These initiatives also help employees feel heard. Empowered managers can gather and act on feedback, especially regarding diversity and inclusion.
pcl. is committed to creating a culture of belonging. With our experience of over 29 years of supporting businesses, we always seek to work with organisations looking to strengthen their diversity and inclusion initiatives. To further discuss more on how we can support you, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org