Diversity is any dimension that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another.
Traditionally, the focus has been on diverse elements such as gender and disability with a lesser appreciation of age, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Equally important diverse elements like culture, experience and thinking style are often ignored or misunderstood.
Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported. It generates a sense of Belonging. It is about focusing on the needs of every individual and ensuring the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve his or her full potential. Inclusion should be reflected in an organization’s culture, practices and relationships that are in place to support a diverse workforce.
Having a “diverse” workforce is something that companies have aspired to for many years.
We’ve heard of gender quotas, mentoring of female employees and making workplaces open and accessible to people with disabilities. All very positive and noble. Looks great on the careers page on your website.
But the outcome of all this good work seems to fall flat in reality, resulting in the often-said comment “we’ve done all this work and made the workforce more diverse, but the culture hasn’t really changed”. What was the point?
It comes back to the old saying “it’s not what you have got, it’s what you do with it that counts”.
This is where “inclusion” comes in. It’s not enough to just be “diverse”. To really stand out and get the business results, it is about embracing everyone in the organisation, allowing everyone to bring their full selves to work and feel their opinion is valued.
Would a complimentary Lunch & Learn on Diversity related theme be a valuable investment of 45-minutes? We run 2 free Lunch & Learns each month. If you would like to book one for your organisation, email Mark@MASF.ie or go here to fill out the inquiry form.