Diversity in the workplace is a hugely important and influential topic. It is one that most of us will have heard quite a lot about, as the world has been trying to steadily become more diverse as time moves forward.
However, there is equally a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding when it comes to diversity in the workplace, what it means, and why it truly matters.
We have previously posted a blog about the exact definition of diversity so that we can clear that matter up first of all. Now, we would like to expand on this topic by talking more specifically about the importance of diversity in the workplace and what it has to offer all of us.
At Aspiring to Include, we believe that knowing and understanding the full importance of diversity in the workplace helps us know that this is a cause deserving of our time and attention. When you see how much power and potential workplace diversity has, you will know why you should care about it just as much as we do.
Let’s start off the blog by quickly revisiting how we defined the term diversity.
What is Diversity in the Workplace?
Diversity in the workplace refers to:
- How a workplace is structured and organised in a fair, diverse, and inclusive way
- How employees within that workplace are treated
- What mindset people within the workplace have, especially those in management and leadership positions
A diverse workplace must appropriately include members of all protected characteristics (where safe) and treat them in such a way that allows them to have equal opportunities. These protected characteristic categories, as set out by the Equality Act of 2010, include:
- Religion and beliefs
- Gender reassignment
- Sexual orientation
- Marriage and civil partnership
- Pregnancy and maternity
True diversity in a workplace will allow people within all these categories to have the same opportunities in applying for a job, to receive the same equitable treatment while working there, and to be supported in a way that protects them from discrimination.
The Side Effects of Genuine Diversity
What we want to focus on in this blog is the benefits involved with this diversity in the workplace. Diversity is much more than a numbers exercise, it is a practice that has a lot of importance for everyone involved.
The benefits we can see from high levels of workplace diversity include the following.
Closing employment gaps and repairing social inequities
In our society, there remain various employment gaps that reflect how certain social groups are treated in our world of employment. For example, there are significant gaps in the rates of employment between both black and white people, and disabled and non-disabled people in the U.K.
These employment gaps highlight that there are systematic differences in how people are treated in recruitment and employment. There are unconscious biases, acts of discrimination, and exclusionary protocols that leave many people out of jobs they are perfectly qualified for.
When a workplace cultivates and promotes diversity, it can help do its part to close these gaps and provide fair working opportunities for all communities.
Positive impact on mental health throughout communities
Employment gaps and social injustice cause stress, pain and anxiety to those involved. Employment gaps are far more significant than the jobs themselves. When more diverse opportunities arise and people are given the opportunity to work for employers who genuinely support and include them, there can be a very positive impact on the mental health of the people involved.
We need to feel included by the world around us to feel safe and happy. Work is no exception to this.
Improved staff retention levels
When diversity is truly taking place in a company, that company can expect to see improved staff retention levels. Staff turnover is one of the most expensive issues a company can face with high costs involved in hiring and training someone new. When everyone feels safe and included at work, they are less likely to leave for somewhere new. They can value the place they work and the job they have and ultimately stay for much longer.
This is better, therefore, for the financial security and well-being of the staff involved, and for the financial interests and stability of the company involved too.
Improved relationships between colleagues
Diversity at work includes people of all cultures, backgrounds, ages, and identities coming together and celebrating their differences. Training and events allow different people to see each other in a way they might never have had the opportunity to have done before. Pride events, Black History Month, Disability Awareness Training, and so on, all allow people to come together and appreciate each other in a brand-new way. This helps boost relationships between colleagues and improve the overall connection of employees in any workplace.
When a company works on their EDI figures and makes them public knowledge, it can greatly improve the profit it can expect to make. The general public wants to buy from and work with diverse and inclusive companies that treat their staff well. When word gets out about genuine and congruent diversity, you can expect to see profit and revenue rise as a lovely side effect too.
Benefits for staff well-being and morale
Finally, diversity has lots of benefits for staff well-being and morale. People are simply happier working for good, diversity-positive employers who care about their employers. Diversity and inclusion with a side of freedom from discrimination keep people happy and safe in their jobs.
And isn’t that enough of a benefit for us all to give diversity the space it deserves?
How Aspiring to Include Can Help You Promote and Provide Diversity
We at Aspiring to Include believe in the power of diversity. We know the full potential that diversity in the workplace can bring to everyone involved, and that is why we care about helping to make it happen.
For employers, we can help you become diversity-positive, accessible, and inclusive employers with our unique services. You can post on our inclusive job board to find a wide and diverse pool of candidates, you can improve your job advert and social media communication streams to be more diverse to a larger audience, and you can even get a featured news article to spread the word about your commitment to change. We have everything you need to get the employees you want.
And for employees or job seekers, we can help connect you to the more diverse employers and workplaces possible. Everyone deserves to work somewhere they can reap the benefits of diversity in the workplace. If you are looking for a new and exciting job opportunity, check out our inclusive job board and directory of inclusive employers too.
Diversity is a powerful force, let’s all get involved.