Business people asking questions about diverisity and inclusion

Diversity And Inclusion Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have provided answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding diversity and inclusion.

What is the difference between diversity and inclusion?

Diversity refers to the mix of people with different characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity and sexual orientation within a team, group or organisation.

Inclusion refers to the way people are made to feel or how they are treated. In an inclusive environment, regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation, each person is treated equally and has the same opportunities.

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Why is diversity and inclusion important

The case for improving diversity and inclusion has accelerated in recent years, mainly spurred on by demands for greater social injustice. Organisations also recognise that a diverse workforce and inclusive working environment leads to competitive advantage.

Research has shown that organisations with the highest ethnic diversity are more creative, productive, and higher performing than their competitors.

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How to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Putting together a comprehensive diversity and inclusion framework is a significant undertaking. In this article, how can we promote diversity and inclusion we explore the subject in detail.

What are the different dimensions of diversity?

Seven fundamental characteristics can be used as a starting point to describe the dimensions of diversity.

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

How to develop a diversity and inclusion initiative

Start from the top. For any diversity and inclusion initiative to be successful, you need the buy-in from your senior leaders. Their approach to D&I will significantly influence other employees.

If budgets allow, consider appointing a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) or giving specific responsibility to your senior leadership team member. The role should report directly to the CEO or head of HR and have the freedom and resources required to deliver the long-term strategy.

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Does diversity and inclusion improve employee engagment?

Research has consistently shown that a diverse workforce and inclusive work environment positively affect levels of employee engagement. Many job seekers are now looking to work for employers committed to building a long-lasting and fair culture more than just financial benefits. Here are five crucial ways D&I drives workforce engagement.

Where do I start with diversity and inclusion?

First and foremost, you need to engage with your senior leaders. To achieve any improvement in diversity and inclusion, it has to be a core element of an organisation's long term objectives and plans.

What are diversity best practices?

Building a diverse organisation with an inclusive culture requires comprehensive change that tackles many complicated issues. Here is a summary of some of the best practices HR leaders are putting into place to achieve measurable success;

  • Establish executive commitment and ownership
  • Recognise your purpose, define the vision and educate your staff
  • Measure, monitor & review
  • Be empathetic. Make employees feel important. Help individuals thrive
  • Treat your D&I framework as mission-critical, not compliance-necessary

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How diversity can improve creativity?

Creativity is a fundamental requirement for all organisations that want to innovate and stand out from their competitors. It is shown that those organisations with a diverse workforce offer new perspectives and generate more ideas that add a competitive edge.

Does diversity actually work?

Gartner research reveals that inclusive employers improve team performance by up to 30% in high-diversity environments. In their report 'Delivering through diversity', McKinsey found that organisations in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability than organisations in the fourth quartile. In terms of ethnic and cultural diversity, they were 33% more likely to outperform on EBIT margin.

Why do diversity and inclusion initiatives fail?

Common reasons diversity and inclusion initiative fail include; whilst they are considered an HR priority by most organisations, too many don't see them as a business priority.

Diversity and inclusion plans that start with finger-pointing or considered as a box-ticking exercise usually fall at the first hurdle.

Resistance or 'diversity fatigue' is another element that can contribute to the failure of D&I initiatives.

The final and perhaps most common reason many well-intentioned D&I strategies go astray is that they focus on differences rather than similarities.

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