Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace

Emily O'Brien
March 31, 2023
Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace

Working somewhere that is diverse and inclusive is just wonderful isn’t it? Rubbing shoulders and bumping along with everyone, regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, age or sexual orientation. It’s liberating, inspiring and just, well, right. Everyone has a voice, everyone is welcome and everyone is respected.

And the benefits to the business are immense. A more diverse group of peeps encourage different perspectives, and new ways of tackling problems. A far wider pool of talent will be attracted, and that can only be a good thing. And if everyone is happy and valued, then employee performance and retention will go through the roof.

So think about your workplace for a moment. How could it be even more diverse and inclusive? Here are just a few ideas.

Acknowledge religious and cultural holidays.

Employees respond incredibly well just knowing that their work recognises their individual needs and beliefs. Does your workplace have a flexible approach to holidays? And allow days off for religious holidays or cultural events? If not, ask why.

Feedback is your friend.
If a workplace isn’t sure about something in terms of diversity, for example, just ask! Open discussions and employee feedback should be encouraged at all times. Not only will it underline that everyone’s opinion is worthwhile, but it’s a great way of flagging areas for improvement. After all, companies might not be aware of a problem is no one is highlighting it. 

It's a generational thing.
Diversity and inclusive come in many guises. One often overlooked subject of discrimination is age. People from different generations bring with them rich experience, unique world views, solid core values and reliable ways of working. It all adds up to a more rewarding place to work for everyone.

Nothing to hide.

Is your workplace open and honest about any gender pay gap in the company? If so then that’s a great way to inspire trust and respect from employees. If not, encourage pro-active steps to be taken, such as conducting a pay gap analysis and sharing salaries on job posts. It shows a commitment to diversity and inclusivity from a pay point of view.

Be pro pronouns.

Gender-inclusive language is a hot topic, and rightly so. How someone wants to be referred to is very personal and, if done incorrectly, can be very upsetting. But get it right and it shows a highly progressive company value. Leaders should encourage everyone to share their personal pronoun, perhaps on email signatures or social media handles. And if you’re ever not sure how to refer to someone, just ask them! After all, no one should take offence by someone trying to do the right thing.

In it together.
Of course, it shouldn’t be down to just one person to make sure a workplace is diverse and inclusive enough. We all have a responsibility to hold each other accountable for instilling these qualities into the DNA of the company.