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Fact: The effort required in implementing diversity and inclusion in the workforce is soon outweighed by the benefits. Positive diversity and inclusion benefits can be seen in the ability to attract and retain employees, happier and more productive employees, higher performing teams and improved customer experiences. There are many studies to show that diverse and inclusive businesses are more likely to have higher financial returns than their competitors.
Fact: Promoting diversity and inclusion creates a culture of awareness, respect and valuing of differences. Although there are a multitude of causes for discrimination, a workplace that embraces diversity and builds an inclusive culture reduces the risk of discrimination.
Fact: Language at work matters. It is not about being politically correct; it is about being respectful to all employees. Inclusive language enables everyone in the organisation to feel valued and respected and able to contribute their talents to drive organisational performance. We know from research that inclusive cultures are high performance cultures – they deliver greater performance and productivity.
Fact: Workplace inclusion is the responsibility of everyone within an organisation. It is not enough that HR personnel support diversity and inclusion. For a workforce to be truly inclusive, everyone from senior leaders, managers and employees need to value and respect the differences that make each of us unique. We are then able to leverage those differences in the work we do, to be more creative and innovative and ultimately, deliver better services.
Fact: Diversity and inclusion is not only focused on increasing numbers of minority groups. It is about the seen and unseen characteristics that make each of us unique. Everyone is able to experience the benefits of building an inclusive work environment where each person feels accepted and valued for who they are and are able to bring their true selves to work.
Fact: Diversity and inclusion is not about special or preferential treatment of one group over another. It is about creating a culture where each individual, regardless of background, can thrive and contribute on an equitable basis. Treating everyone the same does not always work because people are at different starting points. Equity is about providing ‘more for those who need it’ to rectify the imbalance of disadvantage which some groups experience compared to others.