Make Your Organization ‘Inclusive’ by Default

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are often thought to be the same thing. But it is more than just hiring people who belong to different races, gender, ethnic groups, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc. Inclusion is about being able to retain people from diverse groups, them being able to progress in their careers and in your organization as well as having an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and views.

We are past the debate of how diversity and inclusion benefit the company financially, as time and again research has proved that it increases productivity, fosters creativity, betters company culture, boosts market reputation and all of this together helps the company grow. Furthermore, it is our moral responsibility to build organizations that represent the diversity that exists in a particular country and in the world while promoting it for the well-being of society. 

As per Mckinsey D&I Research of 2020, companies that are more diverse and inclusive as compared to their competitors are more likely to perform better financially than their national industry medians. Further, a study conducted by BCG in 2022 suggested that diverse management teams recorded 19% higher revenue as mentioned in the Economic Times Article. Understanding the wide concept of Diversity and Inclusion, especially in a country like India is a process of continuous learning and being open to changes. It is a broad concept and requires systematic changes starting from aligning leaders with the values, updating policies, monitoring company culture, conscious hiring, educating & sensitizing employees, and much more. To reach a goal of making our organizations inclusive by default, we as individuals need to start somewhere, and here are some ways you as a leader and employee can ensure:-

  1. Different should feel comfortable 
  2. Keeping a  check on microaggressions toward a specific group of people
  3. Merit should be the only measure of success
  4. Unfamiliar ideas are not threats, but rather opportunities 
  5. Appreciating different work styles 
  6. Acknowledging the benefits of different styles of leadership
  7. Being aware of subtle biases and taking action to prevent them
  8. Creating a safe space for people to express themselves 
  9. Understanding what is important for each group and including the same in the company culture
  10. Including everyone while crafting policies 
  11. Having support groups to understand the needs of each group 
  12. A transparent grievance redressal system
  13. Voicing the support and giving them the tools to voice their opinions and ideas
  14. Non-tolerance towards disrespect for any group/ individual in any form 
  15. Making compassion and kindness the code of conduct 

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