What is Workplace diversity?

Workplace diversity is the term used for the workplace composed of employees with varying characteristics, such as different sex, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.

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Workplace diversity definition: What is workplace diversity?

Workplace diversity is the term used for the workplace composed of employees with varying characteristics, such as different sex, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.

A company with workplace diversity is the company who has employees with a wide range of characteristics and experiences.

Different types of workplace diversity

There are many different types of workplace diversity. In the beginning, the term diversity was used primarily to address racial and ethnic diversity.

However, in recent years, the term workplace diversity has been expanded to encompass many different characteristics, such as:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical abilities and disabilities
  • Religion
  • Political beliefs
  • Education
  • Socioeconomic background
  • Geographical orientation
  • Language
  • Culture
  • Military service.

Why is workplace diversity so important?

In the modern, globally connected society and market, workplace diversity is becoming a necessity rather than a banner companies wave to show their commitment to embracing differences.

Most of the modern companies can sell their products all over the world, reaching many different groups of people. In order to successfully create, present and sell their products in this global market, companies need a diversified workforce.

What are the benefits of workplace diversity?

Companies with diversified workforce experience many advantages over those who don't have diversified employees.

Workplace diversity is not just something that improves your company’s reputation. Workplace diversity also has many direct, tangible benefits.

Here are the commonly cited benefits of workplace diversity:

  • Decreased Groupthink at Work - Diversity helps avoid groupthink, a phenomenon where the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives. Diverse teams bring a wider range of skill sets, experiences, and ways of thinking, which fosters new ideas and reduces groupthink.
  • Increased Creativity and Innovation - Inclusive companies are almost twice as likely to be innovation leaders in their market. A diverse workforce brings together individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives, fostering creativity and leading to innovative solutions.
  • Broader Range of Skills and Knowledge - Employees from diverse backgrounds bring a wide array of skills, knowledge, and expertise, enhancing the organization's ability to adapt, learn, and excel in various areas.
  • Improved Decision-making - Diverse perspectives enrich decision-making processes, enabling a more comprehensive analysis of problems and consideration of different viewpoints, leading to better-informed decisions.
  • Enhanced Problem-solving - Diverse teams can effectively tackle complex problems with alternative approaches to problem-solving, resulting in more robust and effective solutions.
  • Expanded Market Reach - A diverse workforce can better understand and cater to a diverse customer base, leading to improved products, services, and customer experiences.
  • Increased Employee Engagement and Retention - Inclusive workplaces that value diversity foster a sense of belonging, boosting employee morale, satisfaction, and engagement, ultimately increasing retention rates.
  • Enhanced Employer Brand Reputation - Organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion cultivate a positive reputation, becoming more appealing to potential employees and customers who prefer companies committed to diversity and equality.
  • Global Perspective and Cultural Competence - Diverse workplaces provide exposure to different cultures, languages, and perspectives, expanding employees' understanding of global markets and facilitating collaboration in an interconnected world.
  • Improved Financial Performance - Studies have found that companies with a larger share of women in senior positions have significantly higher financial performance, especially in sectors where critical thinking and creativity are crucial.

These benefits highlight the importance of embracing diversity in the workplace, not just for ethical reasons but also for the substantial advantages it brings to businesses in terms of innovation, decision-making, market reach, and overall performance.

Workplace diversity statistics

Here are the two most cited statistics related to the benefits of workplace diversity:

  • According to McKinsey’s research, racially and ethnically diverse companies outperform industry norms by 35%
  • According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers said a diverse workforce is important when considering job offers and 57% of employees think their companies should be more diverse.

How can you improve your company’s workplace diversity?

The first step in improving your company’s workplace diversity is hiring more diversified employees.

In order to make that happen, you should make your hiring process more inclusive and inviting for people with different characteristics.

Here are 3 actionable advice you can implement right now to make your hiring process more inclusive:

How to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace involves a comprehensive approach that encompasses various strategies and actions. Here's a step-by-step process based on the insights from the article on Keka:

Step 1: Build an Inclusive Culture and Uphold It

Create a culture that values and supports workplace diversity and inclusivity. Ensure that all employees are aware of its values.

Step 2: Set Goals Focusing on Diversity

Set measurable goals for improving diversity and inclusivity within your organization. Regularly track and report progress towards these goals.

Step 3: Make It a Team Effort

Involve all employees in the effort to build workplace diversity. Provide opportunities for education and training on these topics.

Step 4: Shape and Reshape the Hiring Process

Review and revise your hiring process to remove any biases or barriers that may prevent diverse candidates from being considered.

Step 5: Diversify the Talent Pool

Proactively seek out and attract diverse talent. Establish relationships with organizations and communities that represent diverse populations.

Step 6: Equal Compensation for Equal Work

Ensure that all employees are paid fairly and equitably, regardless of their gender, race, or other personal characteristics.

Step 7: Develop an Inclusive Onboarding Process

Create an onboarding process that welcomes and supports new employees from diverse backgrounds. Provide them with the tools and resources they need to feel comfortable.

Step 8: Acknowledge Mistakes and Take Action

Be willing to admit when mistakes have been made. Take swift and effective action to address any issues related to diversity and inclusivity.

Step 9: Stay Ahead of the Mainstream

Continually educate your team on emerging trends and best practices related to workplace diversity. Be willing to experiment and try new approaches.

Step 10: Sustain and Celebrate Diversity

Regularly recognize and celebrate the diversity within your organization. Ensure that your commitment to workplace diversity and inclusivity remains a top priority over the long term.

Examples of promoting diversity in the workplace include implementing inclusive bathroom signs, offering flexible work hours, recognizing and celebrating events like Black History Month or Pride Month, practicing round-robin in meetings, and providing a mother’s room.

By following these steps, organizations can create a more inclusive and diverse workplace that benefits everyone involved.

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