“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”
- Stephen R. Cove
We define diversity broadly, as differences in social categories like race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, nationality and citizenship, veteran and parental status, body size, ability, age, and experience. Diversity is neither new nor complicated, yet it might appear to be both at times. In the workplace, diversity appears to have risen fast in recent years, which can be attributed to a variety of factors. Individuals simply want to be allowed to be themselves, thus the concept of inclusion does not need to be dreaded as difficult. Even though the financial case for diversity, equality, and inclusion (DE&I) is stronger than ever, many organizations have paused in their efforts. Gasorek, while describing inclusion, takes a multi-faceted view, proposing inclusion to concern the degree to which:
· Employees are valued, and their ideas are taken into account and used,
· Employees partner successfully both in and across departments,
· Current employees feel they belong in the organization, and prospective employees are attracted to the organization,
· Employees feel committed to each other, the organization, and the organization's goals, and,
· The organization continues to foster flexibility and choice and attends to diversity.
In fact, as per the latest reports from Forbes, organizations with more diversity are 70% more likely to expand their market share. With new markets comes a larger audience, which translates to greater profit. In the professional world, this may be a game-changer. According to the above Forbes report, here are 3 benefits to embracing diversity in the workplace:
· Diverse Teams Boost Creativity and Innovation: Because a person's creativity is strengthened by their capacity to incorporate other points of view—something that many of us acquire when engaging with people from various backgrounds—diverse teams are more creative.
· Workplace Diversity Creates Greater Opportunities for Professional Growth: Companies that embrace ideas and practices from a variety of perspectives foster an inclusive culture in which employees serve as brand ambassadors. Internal company advocacy draws a wide group of smart, motivated workers. Approximately 64% of candidates conduct online research on a company before applying for a position. What makes the company a desirable place to work is an important aspect of our investigation. And one-third of people will not apply for a job at a company that isn't diverse.
· Better Decision-Making: According to research, diverse teams make better decisions 87 percent of the time than non-diverse teams. Diverse teams bring a wider range of viewpoints and information to the table, which can contribute to the overall growth of the company.
What constitutes "enough" workplace diversity? This domain continues to remain grey and largely depends on what the organisation needs to achieve.
According to a Deloitte research, there is a generational divide in these viewpoints. Older generations prefer to look at diversity through the perspective of representation, focusing on gender, ethnicity, and religion. Younger generations, on the other hand, place a greater emphasis on cognitive diversity, or the range of concepts, ideas, and talents.
However, the only way to know whether diversity works for you is to try it. At Flexing It ®, we have found that several organisations experiment with their diversity agenda through a ‘gig pilot’. Bringing expert freelancers into your talent landscape from diverse backgrounds helps the company dabble in diversity without creating too many ripples. Diversity like generational and gender are great start points with the help of expert flexible talent and explore the benefits of D&I for your business.
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