Over the past decade, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become increasingly important priorities for companies competing for talent and market share, with even greater emphasis in recent years. Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace encourages employees to bring their authentic selves to work, feel valued, and produce better results. Unfortunately, while many companies understand the importance of DEI, they often fail to translate this comprehension into action. This article highlights the meaning of DEI, why these concepts matter, and how they foster a sense of inclusion and belonging in the workplace.
What is Diversity in the Workplace?
Socially, diversity refers to the wide range of identities that exist among people. Broadly, it includes race, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, veteran status, etc. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values. When organizations value diversity, they attract a broader range of talent, customers, and clients, which can lead to a better understanding of the needs of diverse markets. Moreover, diverse workplaces benefit from varied perspectives that come from different backgrounds and experiences. Research shows that diverse teams experience a 60 percent improvement in decision-making, reflecting a more creative and innovative problem-solving approach.
What is Equity in the Workplace?
Equity, on the other hand, seeks to provide every employee with equal opportunities to succeed, regardless of their background. This means ensuring that everyone has access to the same resources, such as education, training, and support. In the workplace, equity ensures that people get paid fairly, regardless of their gender, race, or age. In short, equity seeks to eliminate bias in all its forms, providing a level playing field for everyone.
What is Inclusion in the Workplace?
Inclusion refers to an environment where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and respected and can be their true selves without fear of judgment. An inclusive workplace culture is critical because it ensures that everyone has a voice, feels heard, and is accepted. When employees feel included, they are more likely to feel engaged, motivated, and connected to their colleagues, leading to better work outcomes. Research by McKinsey finds that inclusive companies with culturally diverse teams outperform their less diverse peers in profitability by 36 percent.
Organizations that fully understand and prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion can increase their growth, productivity, and profitability. Weaving DEI into every fabric of a company’s infrastructure will result in a more balanced, robust, and agile workplace where all perspectives are considered and have an impact. When that happens, the results can be transformational!