Diversity has many facets including race, gender, age, culture, or orientation. These are important and are the demographics that helps organizations embed diversity in their workforce. But diversity isn’t always something we can measure and see. Diversity is also about the social-context and individual experiences.
We are all individuals, looking for a chance to feel valued and respected, for who we are, for our differences to be embraced as strengths. Inclusion promotes belonging, purpose and wellbeing. When we talk about inclusiveness, we must think and act without labels; it is then that we trigger positive change.
As correctly mentioned by Scott Ballina (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader at Citrix) –
“Inclusion should be about a lot more than a legal requirement to provide a room for prayer or a gender-neutral restroom. Those things are important, but inclusion is more about incorporation than accommodation. If we accept that people perform at a higher level when their comfort, orientation, and beliefs are considered, then we should strive to ensure they’re free to work in a way that plays to their strengths. Why enforce a rigid structure, when affording people choice about how they work most effectively and supporting the choices they make gets better results? “
You can have a diverse team, but if they can’t collaborate; the team won’t be effective. It’s like Verna Myers said,
“Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance”
From strategy to market, inclusion has fostered innovation by converging towards better planning and smarter decisions. An engaged workforce is more active and innovative. An inclusive environment is one that creates opportunities for all employees to realize their unique potential and is critical to talent retention. It’s not enough to just teach employees what inclusion is. Inclusion is the incorporation of ‘micro-behaviors’ and living by these ideals.
Diversity and Inclusion is not just about labels.
It’s about me.
It’s about you.
It’s about all of us.