“Diversity” is a word that gets bandied about quite a bit and there is no question that diversity is important. But, it’s just a starting point. Diversity without inclusion is meaningless. Unfortunately, diversity is where a lot of organizations stop. “Let’s see we have X representation of Y group, and Z representation of A group. We’re good!”
But wait a minute; you’re not good—you’ve barely crossed the starting line.
We’re all for diversity. But, we don’t believe that diversity is enough. Having a diverse workforce is just part of the solution. Being inclusive is the other part. Diversity matters in the workplace but it is meaningless without inclusion. Unless the voices of those diverse employees are heard and their ideas and insights mined, the value of diversity is lost.
Too often organizations work to recruit diverse talent but, once that talent comes on board, little is done to ensure that these new members of the employer community are welcomed and included. Many leave. Companies are on the right track as they work to build programs and put senior leaders in place to focus on diversity. They just need to take it a few steps further. And, importantly, they need to ensure that their emphasis on inclusion isn’t limited only to women and people of color. Inclusion is about everybody—everybody!
Yes, diversity matters. But companies will never achieve the bottom-line results they’re hoping for simply by being diverse. They must also be inclusive.
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