SPROWT ARTICLE | Açucena Paul
Diversity Does Not Survive Without Inclusion
Often, we hear the terms “Diversity” and “Inclusion” used interchangeably. This is a mistake. Diversity refers to the existence of a group of individuals with a multiplicity of identity characteristics. In contrast, inclusion relates to an individual’s sense of belonging within the environment they find themselves in, in this case, within a company.
It is through employees’ sense of belonging to companies that we can ensure their well-being and comfort in sharing ideas. With this well-being guaranteed, it is possible to foster a creative and productive discussion that leads to greater innovation and efficiency.
Ensuring that we work with diverse teams in terms of gender, nationality, religion, disabilities, sexuality, ethnicity, and age, for example, contributes to innovation and efficiency in decision-making. On the other hand, having an inclusion strategy helps foster a sense of belonging and, consequently, improves talent retention in companies dealing with the entry of younger and more open-to-career-change generations into the job market.
Although it may seem like a human resources-specific issue, it is imperative that company leaders not only understand the need for the implementation of Diversity and Inclusion practices but also take responsibility for establishing and meeting goals and set an example for other employees.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for establishing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs that apply equally to all companies. On the contrary, each company has specific needs and is at a certain stage of evolution – while some companies already have programs for the inclusion of people with disabilities, for example, others have never addressed these issues internally.
Having diverse teams and an inclusive environment requires a joint effort and the contribution of everyone, from the administrator to the intern. It is necessary to be open to change, as Diversity does not survive without Inclusion