Diversity and Inclusion

by Gamiel Yafai

The business case for diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are about a lot more than just fulfilling legislative requirements. As businesses, markets and customer bases become increasingly global and diverse, today’s leading companies and service providers are working to reflect the changing nature of their customers and the communities in which they exist. At the highest levels, leading businesses realise that diverse teams that can boast a range of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences work more creatively together, increasing innovation and flexibility. This in turn leads to better decision making.

Other benefits include

  • Improving staff retention, leading to lower recruitment and training costs
  • Gaining access to a wider range of resources and skills among your employees
  • Avoiding claims of unfair treatment or discrimination
  • Building a competitive edge in recruitment and retention (as you can select from a bigger pool of candidates)
  • Building a reputation as a diverse business
  • Understanding your customers better – identifying potential problems (like language barriers or poor access for disabled people)
  • Discovering why customers with different religious beliefs or from different backgrounds react in certain ways to your business.

It’s important to ensure that employees within your organisation understand the business case behind diversity and accept that embracing diversity is no longer an option, but a must – and a key component to an organisation’s success.

Managing diversity and inclusion

The basic concept of managing diversity and inclusion accepts that the workforce consists of a diverse population of people. The diversity consists of visible and non-visible differences which include, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, age and religion. It is founded on the principle that harnessing these differences will create a more productive environment in which everybody feels valued, where their talents are being fully utilised, and in which organisational goals are met.