Workplace diversity – What is it?
Workplace diversity is the practice of involving, valuing, and understanding the people in your workforce who come from a range of different backgrounds. Looking around your workplace, you’ll see lots of individuals who display a variety of characteristics. There will be people of different genders, races, ages, sexual orientations, and much more. Workplace diversity aims to include these people, making sure that they have equal opportunities and are well represented within their organisation.
Why workplace diversity is so important
It’s essential that people from minority groups feel included and equally represented in their work environment. Inclusion of diverse groups in a workforce allows for employees to feel more comfortable and understood within their workplace. Simply working alongside people who are from similar backgrounds to you can promote a healthier work atmosphere and improve overall work ethic. Read below for three reasons why workplace diversity is integral for all businesses:
A Deloitte research study found that 72% of employees would leave their company for a more diverse and inclusive organisation. Not only does workplace diversity help employees to feel accepted, but it also encourages them to stay longer at their company. Having a diverse workforce can reduce staff turnover, allowing for employees to build greater relationships with one another and in turn increasing communication and productivity.
People both inside and outside of an organisation will relate to those from a similar background. This means that when employees come from various backgrounds, they can better communicate, empathise, and resonate with others who relate to them. This allows for stronger and more organic communication with clients, partners, and even within internal teams.
Having a diverse group of people within the workforce allows for a number of different skills to be represented within a company. A report from McKinsey has found that the greater the representation within a workplace, the higher the likelihood of outperformance against the industry average. Companies with more than 30% female executives were more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10-30%, or companies with fewer to no female executives.
How to promote workplace diversity
Ensure that diversity is well represented in a range of positions within a company’s hierarchy
Eliminate hiring bias by ensuring that each candidate has an equal opportunity regardless of their background
Promote and practice inclusivity at a professional and social level and discipline any discrimination or micro-aggressions appropriately
To conclude, implementing workplace diversity can benefit your company in a variety of ways. As a woman of colour, I have definitely found that working in a more diverse environment allows for me to feel welcomed and understood by my colleagues. I think that it is very important to promote diversity within the workplace so that everyone can feel included and therefore perform to the best of their abilities. Providing marginalised groups with the opportunities to showcase their skills within their company will promote a high work ethic and increase productivity across the workplace.
Written by Yasmin Foxwell