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What is diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace?

Diversity, equity and inclusion are values that promote equality, fairness and empowerment to different groups of individuals

What is diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace? hero image
Clélie Protopapas image

Written by Clélie Protopapas

15 Feb, 2023  –  5 mins read


Diversity, equity, and inclusion aim to create workplaces where everyone feels valued, included and supported regardless of their background or identity. Today, diversity, equity, and inclusion is increasingly important as organisations recognise the benefits of diversity in leadership and across the workforce. These benefits include increased creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. But while companies in the top quartile for age, gender, and racial diversity are more likely to have financial returns above the industry median, a third of businesses do not have a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.

Diversity, equity and inclusion require ongoing effort and commitment from everyone in the workforce, from the organisation’s leadership to each employee. This can then create a work environment where everyone feels respected and valued. By making it central to organisational values, companies can create a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

What is diversity, equity and inclusion?

If you look at a diversity equity and inclusion definition, it means the intentional efforts to create a workplace that values and respects the differences of individuals where people of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives feel valued, respected, and supported.

While these terms are often used interchangeably, they each have their own meaning and value. Diversity involves creating a workforce that reflects the wider community, equity ensures fair treatment and access to opportunity, and inclusion creates a sense of belonging and community where everyone can participate and contribute to their full potential.

What is the difference between diversity, equity and inclusion?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are three distinct but interrelated concepts critical for creating a workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.

Diversity

Diversity is the differences among people, such as differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, and socio-economic status. Diversity means creating a workforce representative of the wider community in the workplace, acknowledging and valuing the unique perspectives and life experiences that diverse employees bring to the table.

Equity

Equity means recognising and addressing historic and systemic barriers preventing certain groups from accessing the opportunities taken for granted by some groups and taking proactive steps to ensure everyone has access to the resources, support, and opportunities needed to succeed. It may involve targeted efforts to address specific areas of inequality, such as pay, promotions, or access to training and development opportunities.

Inclusion

Inclusion means creating an environment where diverse perspectives are respected and valued and ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to participate, contribute, and succeed. This involves creating a culture where everyone feels comfortable bringing all aspects of their identity to work without barriers to full participation and engagement.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical for creating a workplace where all members feel valued, respected, and supported. By understanding and prioritising these concepts, you can foster a workplace culture that is truly inclusive and equitable and brings out the best in all employees.

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What are the benefits of diversity, equity and inclusion?

There are many benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, and organisations prioritising diversity, equity, and inclusion often see improvements in several areas. Here are some of the key benefits of diversity, equity and inclusion for businesses and employees.

Diversity

  • Improves individual and team creativity, innovation and problem-solving
  • Provides a better understanding and engagement with a wide range of customers and clients
  • Provides greater access to a wider pool of talent
  • Improves job satisfaction and employee morale

Equity

  • Reduces staff turnover and increases employee retention
  • Enhances motivation and engagement across the entire workforce
  • Creates greater access to opportunities for everyone in the workforce, especially under-represented groups
  • Increases fairness and transparency in team-level and corporate-wide decision-making

Inclusion

  • Creates enhanced opportunities for collaboration and teamwork
  • Increases employee engagement and loyalty
  • Enhances development and learning opportunities across the workforce
  • Improves communication and decision-making
  • Improves opportunities for innovation, ideas, and creativity

Organisations that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion are more likely to be financially successful long-term and have a better track record of employee satisfaction and retention. In addition, they will offer a positive, supportive, and productive environment that benefits everyone.

Why is diversity, equity and inclusion important in the workplace?

A diverse and inclusive workplace is both the right and fair thing to do and good for business. Companies with more diverse leadership teams are more likely to have higher financial returns than those with less diverse teams. In addition, companies that are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion often see improved employee engagement, retention, and productivity.

Employee surveys also highlight the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion with regard to employee engagement, motivation and overall workplace experience. For example, a study by Glassdoor found that 76% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering a new job. In addition, a survey by Deloitte found that 72% of respondents would think about leaving their role for a more inclusive employer. Employees who feel their workplace is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion are more likely to feel valued, engaged, and motivated.

By prioritising diversity, equity and inclusion, you can encourage a culture that values and respects differences, promotes fairness and access to opportunities, fosters innovation, and creates a sense of belonging and community where everyone can thrive.

How to implement diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace?

Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace requires a multifaceted approach involving both top-down leadership and bottom-up employee engagement. You can promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace through the following methods.

Leadership commitment

Focus on prioritising diversity, equity and inclusion needs to start at the top, including creating a diverse leadership team, communicating the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, and implementing policies and practices that promote equity.

Hiring practices

Ensure hiring practices are inclusive and designed to attract diverse candidates by broadening recruitment channels, reviewing job descriptions for bias, and training hiring managers with training in diversity, equity and inclusion best practices.

Employee training

Providing training on diversity, equity, and inclusion can help employees understand the importance of diversity and inclusion, identify unconscious bias, and promote cultural awareness and sensitivity. Training can also help create a shared language and understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Employee resource groups

Employee resource groups (ERGs) can provide a space for underrepresented groups to connect, network, and advocate for their needs. ERGs can also serve as a leadership resource, helping to identify areas where the organisation can improve its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Use video to engage employees

With Seenit’s User-Generated Video solution, employees can create and share their own workplace experiences and perspectives on diversity, equity and inclusion. You can also use these videos to promote diversity, equity and inclusion awareness and education as part of your wider internal communications strategy.

Conclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential in a modern workplace to create a supportive, productive, and fulfilling environment for all employees. Diversity, equity and inclusion require a multifaceted approach that involves leadership commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, inclusive hiring practices, employee training, and ERGs.

Seenit allows employees to share their stories and experiences through engaging training videos. These can help create a more engaging diversity, equity and inclusion program that fosters a culture of inclusion and belonging, benefiting everyone in the organisation.


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