Workplace diversity and inclusivity: Moving beyond compliance

Read Time: 5 minutes

Bobby Rae

Bobby Rae

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

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We’re well into the 2020s and thankfully many organizations have come to recognize the importance of workplace diversity and inclusivity. 

However, it’s still not enough. Yes, some companies may meet legal requirements by having a diverse workforce but they often lack true inclusion initiatives. To put it lightly, just having a “diverse workforce” is not enough. There needs to be a genuine effort to create an inclusive workplace. Let’s look at ways you can make your business more diverse and inclusive.

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What is the difference between diversity and inclusivity?

Diversity is about representation — it’s about ensuring that different types of people are included in the organization. 

Inclusivity, on the other hand, is about actively creating a workplace environment that is welcoming and equitable. It’s about creating an atmosphere where people feel like their ideas and perspectives are valued by the organization.

The benefits of workplace diversity and inclusivity

There are numerous benefits to having a truly diverse and inclusive work environment. According to studies conducted by the Harvard Business Review, companies with more diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their industry median. 

Additionally, teams with greater diversity often display increased creativity and innovation - something that can give organizations an edge over competitors in today’s rapidly changing business landscape. 

Lastly, having diverse teams can result in better decision-making due to a wider range of perspectives being available. Make sure to take time to hold regular team meetings to hear their ideas.

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How to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace begins with leadership. Business leaders need to take the lead in creating an organizational culture that prioritizes diversity and inclusion. 

This can be done through initiatives such as implementing anti-bias training, developing clear policies about equality of opportunity and offering mentorship programs. Additionally, organizations should foster an environment where employees feel comfortable enough to bring up any issues related to diversity and inclusion without fear of retribution or judgment.

Leaders should also set realistic goals when it comes to promoting workplace diversity and inclusivity — this means setting specific targets for hiring, promotions and retention as well as taking steps to hold themselves accountable if they fail to meet these goals.

Finally, organizations should strive to create a work environment where employees of all backgrounds feel safe and respected. This means creating an atmosphere that is free from any kind of discrimination and harassment — where everyone’s ideas are heard and given equal weight.

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To sum up…

Workplace diversity and inclusivity are essential components for the long-term success of any organization. 

By promoting a culture of respect and fairness, businesses can reap the numerous benefits associated with having a diverse workforce. Leaders must take the lead in implementing strategies that promote diversity and inclusion within their companies if they want to remain competitive in today’s market. 

With an effective plan in place, organizations can move beyond simply meeting compliance requirements, and create an inclusive work environment that is truly welcoming to everyone.

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