IN THE MIDDLE | career advancement

Gender Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published June 25, 2021

Men, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community have different viewpoints, ideas, and market insights that they can bring to the table of any organization. When given equal opportunities in the workplace, their different perspectives and unique potentials can bring out the best in a company. Among the many benefits that you'll get from a diverse and inclusive workplace are the chance to see things from a different light and the opportunity to build trust and more commitment. This is why gender diversity and gender inclusivity are not just laudable ambitions for businesses but a vital factor to improve an organization’s profitability and performance. Unfortunately, many companies are still struggling to define what it means and why it is important.

What is gender diversity and inclusion?

Gender diversity is the fair representation of people of different genders, ethnicity, and age within your organization. It's mostly about respecting and appreciating what makes each employee different.

On the other hand, inclusion is the concrete methods and strategies incorporated and implemented in the workplace to create a culture where diverse members of the organization receive equal support and respect and have equal opportunities to contribute and influence different parts and levels of a workplace. Together, the two can foster a sense of belonging and create a space where everyone is valid and safe.

Why is it important?

Diverse and inclusive organizations are more successful than their non-diverse counterparts. Creating a safe environment for the professionals you hire, no matter their gender, can bring lots of benefits to your company, such as increased innovation, better results, and improved productivity which will do well for your company's bottom line.

To help you understand better, here are more details about the benefits of creating an inclusive environment for a diverse workforce:

Unique Perspectives and Increased Productivity

With a diverse workforce, limitations to creativity and innovation are eliminated. Hiring employees of different backgrounds, cultures, genders, nationalities, and sexual orientations means you'll have a team with a variety of skills, extensive experiences, unique perspectives, and unlikely ideas that will definitely come in handy during the development of effective and efficient solutions to solve business perplexities.

Furthermore, such diversity can also help your company find new ways to cater to an increasingly diverse customer base because having executives, managers, employees, and even a board of directors representing your consumer base allows the organization to gain better insight into the customers. Additionally, a culture that promotes diversity and inclusion can lead to more work done and better employee retention as it makes your people feel accepted, valued, and respected.

Good Reputation and a Wider Talent Pool

Opening up your business to attract talent from a much larger base increases your chances of finding top talent.

In addition to that, as the younger generation of professionals values a company culture that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), having a reputation as an inclusive employer will demonstrate your positive company values and connect you to the community around you. 

Greater Profitability

A diverse workforce can help you reduce expenses and generate greater profit. The most diverse companies are seen to outperform less diverse peers on profitability, and this is echoed by multiple studies and researches conducted by McKinsey, Harvard Business Review, Gartner, and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in recent years. 

What can you do?

Comfort is different for everyone, and creating the perfect workspace for all your employees seems impossible. This change to company culture takes lots of effort and requires commitment. So to help you get started, why not alter the language you use in your job posting or maybe educate your employees on diversity and inclusion? That ought to be a good first step, but don't forget that these initiatives only scratch the surface in creating a workforce that truly embraces equality.

To reiterate the whole point of this article, diversity without inclusion is not enough. After all, what good would it bring your company if you're making an effort to create a diverse workforce within but not an environment for these professionals to be safe in?