The Merits of Fostering a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

Cultivating an inclusive workplace — a space that welcomes diversity of expression and being — is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also great for business. 

A variety of studies have shown inclusive workplaces can lead to higher profits, the ability to retain and attract top talent, and offer employees a greater sense of well-being.

While most companies — quite rightfully — have taken a diverse and inclusive approach to their hiring practices, there may be some additional and lesser acknowledged accommodations made in an office to make everyone — people of all genders, ages, races, sexual orientations, abilities, and levels of mobility — feel comfortable and welcomed.

Such measures to consider might be:

  • Accommodations for Those with Mobility Issues: Offering reserved parking, ergonomic chairs and lifting aids, keeping a stairway evacuation chair like Evacuscape onsite; will ensure the safe rescue of people with mobility challenges during emergencies. Furthermore, create a dedicated space for people returning from maternity leave to express, and when possible, consider the reassignment of duties or shifts.
  • Slight Changes to Day-to-Day Operations: Allow employees flexible arrival times (if viable), the option of telecommuting, and unregulated water and bathroom breaks. Let people sit down frequently, and allow reasonable forms of eating and drinking at desks.
  • Regular Training and an Open Door Policy: Provide for the ongoing training and surveying of team members and executive employees on inclusivity practices. Adopt more inclusive language and participate in community initiatives when you can. Leave a comment box for anonymous feedback.

The ways an inclusive workplace can benefit a company are listed below.

A Boost to Finances

In a 2015 study by the global management consulting firm McKinsey, they found that companies with a gender-diverse workforce were 15% more likely to best industry rivals and that companies with an ethnically diverse team are 35% more likely to do the same. They also reported that cash flow was 2.3 times higher per team member over a three-year period, compared to similar companies. 

In a follow-up study in 2020, McKinsey noted that the above data remains a solid claim and that the relationship between diversity on executive teams and the probability of financial outperformance has grown even more likely in the past five years. 

Enhanced Employee Confidence

Confidence in the company may be boosted. In a partnership between Deloitte and the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission they found that “Employees who perceive their organization is committed to, and supportive of, diversity and who feel included, are 80% more likely to believe they work in a high performing organization.”

A Stronger Retention Rate

Employee retention is key to a successful business. Having a consistent team minimizes training time while building loyalty among the workforce; it also heightens your brand’s reputation in the industry — a high turnover can have a profoundly negative impact. 

According to a study by the American Psychological Association, when people feel included, they’re more likely to be kinder to themselves and practice healthy behaviors. In contrast, when people feel excluded, they value short-term gains and take more risks. 

By having an inclusive team, your employees are more likely to respect themselves, believe in their abilities, and not take chances.

Top Talent Are Attracted

A study by Glassdoor (an online hub where current and former employees can review employers) found that just over three-quarters of job seekers want to find an employer with a diverse workforce; they consider this as being an essential factor when they were looking at job postings and weighing-up job offers.

As the world moves forward, so must our drive for diverse and inclusive workplaces. As research indicates, the success of present and future companies may even depend on it.

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