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Why Diversity And Inclusion Are Vital For Every Organization

Why Diversity And Inclusion Are Vital For Every Organization

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Recognizing diversity as a condition for growth and scalability in companies will be essential for success, since all perspectives add value and nurture the work team.

Though nationwide social and cultural progress is fairly constant, U.S. businesses have a long way to go when it comes to diversity and inclusivity. In 2020, McKinsey revealed that only 52% of organizations had a positive sentiment when it comes to diversity. It’s even worse for inclusion, with only 29% of U.S. organizations viewing inclusion in a positive light.

It’s high time companies changed this mentality and embraced diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Organizational changes for doing so are crucial, and here’s why:

Diversity and Inclusivity Can Transform Organizations

Many professionals are driven by the American Dream: the belief that the U.S. will provide them with access to democracy, civil rights, freedom, equality, and opportunities. Our article on the American Dream highlights that the U.S. already has over 59 million Hispanic inhabitants who are pursuing a better future in the country. In return, businesses owned by Latin Americans contributed as much as $800 billion to the U.S. economy in 2021.

Indeed, individuals with various cultural, racial, and gender identities have a lot of potential to share— and organizations need to start valuing these talents. Unfortunately, Bain & Company revealed that only 25-30% of employees feel fully included at work, and many still struggle with stereotypes, acceptance, and assimilation.‍

Without diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, professionals become dissatisfied with their jobs and even end up leaving their positions. And because companies fail to accept these employees, they also fail to benefit from increased revenues, greater innovation, better talents, and higher employee retention rates.

How Can Organizations Embrace Diversity and Inclusivity?‍

Lead by example‍‍

Leaders have the power to influence the entire workforce, which is why they should set an example by spearheading the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

Since organizational changes can be challenging, Maryville University’s article on cross-cultural leadership recommends adjusting to a leadership style that supports change and harmony within the workplace. It’s crucial that leaders are open with their employees and respectful of cultural customs so that artificial divisions and cultural barriers can be prevented within the workforce. By being accepting of each employee’s personal beliefs and backgrounds, leaders can foster a company culture that embraces diversity and inclusion.

Improve recruitment processes

Once the executive team and leaders demonstrate diversity and inclusion efforts, companies need to start building a workforce that reflects the organization’s fight for equality.

If the majority of the workforce belongs to one demographic, professionals from the human resources department will need to evaluate and improve the recruitment process. Since candidates get discriminated against in the screening process due to their names and photos, companies can use software programs like Gender Decoder or Unbiasify Chrome Extension to prevent any unconscious biases. This allows HR professionals to focus on the skills of the candidates, rather than their cultural backgrounds or personal identities.

Develop organization policies

Finally, organizations need to develop policy statements for inclusion and diversity to create direction and long-term impact on the entire workforce.

To develop the purpose of these policies, Indiana University-Purdue University researchers suggest doing an environmental scan and evaluation of the cultural, gender, and racial burdens within the organization. After identifying the gaps, the organization needs to create a policy statement that reflects the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity, as well as the implementation and evaluation plans for these efforts. Then, they need to communicate the new organizational policies to ensure that each department will carry out these changes.

‍Organizations need to put equality and acceptance at the forefront of their efforts. Simply taking the steps to respect the cultures, beliefs, and genders of each employee comes with the long-lasting reward of a happy and productive workforce.

Alicia Crestwood
Written exclusively for

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