Organizations that invest in diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace are more profitable, attract better talent and see an increase in innovation. 

A 2018 McKinsey report on diversity “confirms that gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity, particularly within executive teams, continue to be correlated to financial performance across multiple countries worldwide.” 

And a study by Boston Consulting Group found that organizations with diverse teams show a 19% increase in profits due to innovation. 

Studies by Deloitte (Welcome to Generation Z and The Radical Transformation of Diversity and Inclusion: The Millennial Influence) have uncovered how much Millennials and Gen Z value diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Spoiler alert: Both groups strongly value diversity and inclusion. 

At its broadest definition, diversity refers to the traits found in an organization’s workforce as a whole. A diverse workforce is made up of individuals of different genders, ages, orientation and ethnicity/background. The distribution should be fairly proportionate, meaning senior roles should show as much diversity as entry-level roles. 

Inclusion is the degree to which employees feel accepted, valued and respected at work. This is sometimes described as psychological safety, the feeling that an employee (no matter at what level) can contribute ideas and criticism without fear of ostracization or career repercussions. 

Related Reading: Emojis in business: thumbs up or thumbs down?

Introducing or expanding your D&I initiatives requires planning for employee buy-in, navigating roadblocks and understanding how your workforce views diversity and inclusion. 

Download our free ebook, Increasing Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace, for tactical insights into how to create a diversity and inclusion strategy, including how to overcome unconscious bias and generate employee engagement for your D&I initiatives. 

For a few D&I quick wins, we’ve put together some suggestions from our team on small changes that you can implement in relatively short time to be more inclusive and increase diversity in the workplace. 

Kieran Doyle, Data Analyst, recommends setting up more learning events for your entire organization. “A workshop or a department roadshow lets employees develop new relationships with coworkers in different areas of the business. You get to know people you don’t interact with every day. Everyone gets to showcase what they’re excited about and what they’ve accomplished, and it gives you an understanding of what it is everyone else does in the company.” 

Suvin Bhagaria, Training & Enablement Specialist at Rise, suggests taking the time to celebrate events that are important to many different cultures. “I think a great idea is holding education sessions for each holiday or special event. That way, everyone can understand who celebrates this holiday and why it’s important. It’s a way to help you see your coworkers as people, not just people you work with.” 

Related reading: Implicit Bias: Horn and Halo Effect(s) in the Workplace

Alix Fieux, Digital Content Specialist, advocates flexibility when it comes to feedback. “Especially in brainstorming meetings, not everyone is comfortable with making suggestions loud to the group. For me, personally, when the meeting facilitator asks for ideas by email after the meeting too, not just during the meeting, it gives me more time to think and I still feel included in the process.” 

For a few more ideas on how to create a positive work environment through your diversity and inclusion initiatives, download our free ebook: Increasing Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

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