What are the consequences of a workplace lacking inclusivity?
A workplace culture that lacks inclusivity usually results in a lack of diversity, creating a toxic, damaging environment. This is particularly damaging for those employees who are the minority in their workplace. For example, predominantly male workplaces can be highly challenging for female staff members.
A workplace that lacks inclusivity results in staff members who cannot bring their whole selves to work. It creates a culture in which people find it difficult to express themselves. Everyone can feel like they have to fit into a certain category or label. Not only can this result in workplace discrimination, but it also limits a person’s ability to thrive in their job.
Being an inclusive employer leads to staff feeling comfortable and confident to share various ideas and opinions. This is essential for any business trying to work creatively and get ahead in its field. It’s essential that staff feel their differences are celebrated and not ignored; this can only happen when a workplace embraces inclusivity.
Here are some ways you can spot if your workplace is lacking inclusivity. These are helpful both for employers and employees:
Lack of diversity in the members of staff
The simplest way to spot whether your workplace has a problem with inclusivity is to question whether there are many different types of people in your workplace. If there are not, then you may have a problem. Think beyond gender and race, too. Question whether your company embraces neurodiversity or whether you have staff from various employment and education backgrounds.
People don’t share their personal lives and identities.
If the people who you work with don’t feel comfortable discussing their personal lives while at work, it’s a sign there is a problem with inclusivity. All employees should feel able to discuss their sexuality, religion, family life, hobbies and interests if they want to. Fostering a culture where people’s lives outside work are celebrated and valued is extremely important for an inclusive workplace.
Only certain people get promotions.
A workplace that doesn’t embrace inclusivity often only promotes a certain type of person, usually someone who is in the majority in the workplace. For example, if a company is only promoting men, it shows that they are not including women in the most critical decisions in the business. Employers should be making a conscious effort to ensure employers offer promotions to a whole range of people.
No attention paid to staff development.
Staff development and training are essential for workplace inclusion, as it is a way for staff members to challenge themselves and learn to work in new ways. Training also helps employees to feel valued in the workplace. If employers pay no attention to investing in learning and training, it shows that employers are not interested in the continuing development of their staff.
There are structures in place which prevent certain people from working there.
If your workplace has systems or structures in place which would limit or make it difficult for a certain type of person to work there, you are not equal or inclusive. For example, if you have no flexibility on working times, which means that parents of young children couldn’t do the role, you are not inclusive of primary caregivers. Or if you have strict working schedules, which would mean someone had to work over a religious holiday, you are not inclusive to those with faith.
If you feel there is a problem with inclusivity or diversity in your workplace, head over to our resource hub. Here you can find plenty of help and guidance. We can help you seek support from HR, understand discrimination, and discuss concerns with your employer.