November 17, 2022

Diversity and Inclusion - the modern perspective on HR?

Outdated HR strategies are slowly but surely being replaced with new ones that acknowledge the importance of diversity and inclusion

Why are diversity and inclusion in the workplace so important? We keep hearing this a lot lately but do we know what a diverse and inclusive organization should look like and what are its benefits? One does not go without the other. It is not enough to hire people with different backgrounds, nationalities, races, genders and so on, you also have to make sure that they feel pleasant and welcomed in your organization. 

If we go only a few decades back, we will notice quite a homogenous corporate workforce structure- mainly white males. Fast-forward to today and we can see a big difference, and although some organizations are still sticking to the old mindset, more and more are transforming their workforce. Once under-represented minority groups are finally getting their shoot. 

Diversity in the workforce has a broad meaning. It includes different genders, ages, abilities, nationalities, races, physical appearance, education, socioeconomic status, sexuality and so on. And as we’ve mentioned, it is not enough to create a diverse workplace without creating an inclusive workspace. This means you must also pay attention to creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed, respected, supported and valued no matter the differences. 

It is not enough to hire people with different backgrounds, nationalities, races, genders and so on, you also have to make sure that they feel pleasant and welcomed in your organization. 

Innovation booster

Creating such a workspace will be beneficial to your organization in a lot of different ways. Different people means different perspectives, and when it comes to innovations this is just the thing you need. Encouraging everyone to share their ideas and different approaches to the same problem will provide you with a richer ideation process in the early stages of your innovation process. But as your innovation process progresses these different perspectives will also be beneficial. 

Desirable/attractive job provider/choice

When you create such a workspace where you pay a lot of attention to the well-being of your employees you will become an attractive business for job seekers. Happy employees mean higher retention rates and that combined with a positive reputation as a good job provider, will attract more talent to your organization, providing you with yet another competitive advantage. 

Financial outperformance

Studies have shown that diverse organizations outperform their competition. It does not mean that diverse and inclusive companies will automatically have higher profits, but the overall performance is evident. An interesting fact is that bilingual employees tend to earn 10% more revenue for their companies due to their different interactions with clients. 

Even though we have come far from where we were, there are still considerable inequalities. Females with the same degree as males are still in most cases paid less than males. And if we look at how this pay ratio is reflected amongst different races, again we can see a lot of inequalities where Hispanics and black people are paid less than white people and Asians. 

If we look at the structure of low-income vs. high-income jobs, we will notice a disparity again, where females are over-represented in the first group but under-represented in the other group. That is why you should try and pay attention to equity as a job provider. This not only means you should provide equal access to the same opportunities, but also be an organization that supports fair treatment and advancement, and eliminate barriers for some minorities. 

Creating such an organization does not happen overnight, but being willing to make changes and take steps towards it will make a difference in the end. Diversity, inclusion and equity are the way to transform your organization. 

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