Integrating diversity and inclusion into company culture isn’t as easy as it may seem. Especially in today’s society, where we have seen the rise of hate groups and people who feel empowered to share hateful rhetoric online, there’s an even greater need to establish or reestablish an inclusive culture at work, bringing together various races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and other minorities who may have felt isolated before. Here are three reasons to reestablish your diversity and inclusion initiatives immediately.
The Moral Imperative
The concept of diversity has been trending in the media lately. But what does it mean, exactly? It is an acknowledgment that groups of people have different skills, abilities, backgrounds, values, and life experiences. Achieving diversity in the workplace or company should involve balancing those various components. For instance, an engineering department should include male and female employees to achieve gender balance. Likewise, suppose we want a workforce that reflects society as a whole. In that case, we need every minority group well represented, not just Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans but also LGBTQ+, disabled persons, and other employees. The idea is that when diversity is present in any given environment, better decisions will be made for all good. Creating cultures where everyone feels they belong is one way to make this happen. And with continued HR complaints about discrimination at work, employers are more eager than ever to try new strategies like diversity equity and inclusion and racial equity and inclusion at work.
The Legal Consequence
Following the killing of George Floyd, HR complaints about discrimination at work soared. Companies need to reestablish diversity and inclusion initiatives because complaints could rise. Furthermore, diversifying perspectives, experience, skill sets, and networks is essential to a successful business. Finally, economic inequalities may make it more difficult for employers to find qualified job applicants or talented job candidates who match their specific needs.
According to Section 1557 of The Affordable Care Act, healthcare providers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on any grounds, including race, color sex, among other factors. They must extend medical services to all customers without biases toward them. As the pandemic spread, some people found relief at work. Human resources departments experienced decreased discrimination complaints after most people left the office.
The Financial Impact
Over the long term, lacking diversity and inclusion leads to employee burnout. Burnout leads to declining productivity, increased absenteeism, and reduced levels of employee commitment𑁋exasperating company turnover rates as those who remain are less committed. Besides, diversity has been linked to improved customer engagement because people from different backgrounds bring different perspectives. Absent diverse perspectives, there needs to be more creativity, which can negatively impact organizational innovation levels. If no team member can speak for or understand these diverse perspectives, it is hard for an organization to grow.
The Human Effect
When an organization chooses not to hire based on gender and racial differences, it often will disproportionately negatively affect women and minorities within that company. The disparity can range from unequal pay for minority women compared to white men in similar positions to difficulty accessing high-level positions that lead to or influence decisions.
Companies must understand that to provide equal opportunity regardless of gender or racial biases, there has to be accountability when encountering discrimination at work so that the company can foster equity in the workplace while being successful with increased profitability over time. Diverse environments improve profitability, health outcomes, and diversity of thought. Diversity and inclusion initiatives should be a part of any company's HR process. It will take some time, but the rewards are worth it.