We spend about half our day in our workplace, and this means that our co-workers are the people we tend to meet and see the most during the week. However, not all workplaces are as diverse as you want them to be. Diversity is very important, and now that we’ve just come into the new year and 2022 is starting.
Diversity in the workplace has many advantages for both the employers and their employees, and it has a lot of benefits. Creating a diverse workplace is not a fad, and it has tangible and direct benefits and decreases employee turnover. So, without further ado, let’s learn the importance of workplace diversity and what it entails.
What is workplace diversity?
It means that a company employs a wide range of diverse individuals with different characteristics. This implements the mindset that your come is a more inclusive place for people of varying abilities, age, cultural background, education, ethnicity, gender, language, and sexual orientations. It is an inclusive environment that provides equal rights and opportunities to all workers. This creates a more accepting culture that has a substantial and positive effect on its employees and connects everyone in your company.
A diverse workforce should be made up of a variety and range of employees who come from different backgrounds and have different levels of experience. These include:
- Physical abilities
- Religious and political beliefs
- Gender identity
A 2018 report by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) found that nearly 46% of queer people are closeted in their workplace. The HRC foundation also states that 31% of queer employees feel depressed or unhappy at work, and 20% are actively searching for a different job. Queer people also make less than 0.3% of the upper echelons of leadership positions, according to a Forbes study in 2020. Furthermore, 358 fortune 500 companies don’t have a board diversity policy which means that queer people are underrepresented within executive committees and board meetings. This highlights how diversity matters, especially in 2022; a lack of diversity and inclusion drive employees’ way, making them less loyal, leading to talent attrition.
According to a study conducted by Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an important thing they consider while looking for a job. The McKinsey report also focuses on racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace, and they found that 36% of companies are more likely to have financial returns that are above the average for companies that are not diverse. This report also found that companies with a more gender-balanced employee ratio are 25% more likely to outperform companies that aren’t diverse.
Benefits of workplace diversity
Having a multicultural and diverse workplace has several advantages. Because the world is increasingly globalized and interconnected, the workplace should be representative of the diversity that is present in the world. Some of the benefits of having a diverse workplace include:
1. Increased in marketing opportunity
If customers see that a company is representative of their clientele and is diverse, then it makes the former relate to the said company more. By advertising your company as diverse and having ads that depicted people from all works of life, be it mature-aged, differently-able, or even from a wide range of ethnicities and sexuality. This not only promotes a positive reputation and increases marketplace awareness, but it also makes more people want to work in said diverse company. This expands the workplace itself and generates a more diverse client base.
2. Improved cultural awareness
A diverse range of cultures makes the workplace more nuanced and creates a great deal of difference within the global marketplace. A cultural awareness and employing people from different cultures who speak different languages make your company more competitive. If you are dealing with a company in Indian, having an Indian American employee that speaks Hindi, then it can make it an asset to the company, and this can improve workplace relations.
Companies with a diverse workforce are often perceived as being better employees, which means that potential employees would want an employer who accepts and is tolerant of people from different backgrounds.
3. Increased productivity
Diversity of talent means that there is a broader range of skills among the employee, and this also means that different experiences and perspectives are brought into the limelight. A queer, non-binary person of color won’t have the same view and mindset ad a cis straight middle-aged man. This is why diversity matters! Having employees from all walks of life means that a wide range of ideas and processes are brought to the table, which allows marginalized voices to have a place at the table.
When people from various cultures and backgrounds work together, then the opportunity of creativity increases a bit akin to productivity. There will be more people with different perspectives at the table, which means there will be more solutions to solve any given problem.
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