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How to champion diversity at your workplace

In recent years, companies large and small have pledged their commitment to improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in the workplace. Today, public reports show that there’s still room for improvement. To illustrate this, consider that the majority of FTSE 100 companies are falling behind on their DEI claims. Many of these companies had pledged cultural and operational changes that have failed to materialise.

A diverse and inclusive workplace is one where everyone feels equally involved, supported, and welcome in all areas of the organisation. DEI extends beyond policies, programmes and headcount. It’s about respecting the unique requirements, perspectives, and potential of your workforce.

A survey of UK business leaders finds that lack of awareness and lack of knowledge are reasons driving lagging diversity and inclusion outcomes. In addition to knowledge and awareness, leaders must be open to changing their approach to recruitment, mentorship  and implementing strategies that promise long-term benefits for social change to manifest.

According to various research studies, the benefits of diversity and inclusion include reduced costs, improved recruitment of quality talent, better products and services, enhanced corporate image, improved creativity and problem solving, better decision making, innovation, increased productivity, satisfaction within the organisation and improved customer relations and service delivery. It’s no surprise that diverse and inclusive workplaces outperform their peers.

Diversity is crucial for any organisation that seeks to improve its work environment, culture, financial performance, creativity and much more. If employees feel that their ideas or contributions are not valued or taken seriously, they will leave the organisation – leading to higher costs.

Today, we need leaders to step up and lead the charge on diversity and inclusion. As a leader, your workforce relies on you to set the tone from the top. In order to make measurable progress towards DEI initiatives, research suggests five broad areas where you can take action, including employee behaviour, line manager capability, senior leadership, people management practices and policies, and organisation culture.

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce requires buy-in from your employees, line managers and senior leaders. As a senior leader, you have the power to tap into all of your employees’ knowledge and perspectives, helping make better business decisions, and enabling your organisation to thrive in the long-term.

By role-modelling inclusive behaviour from the top in your day-to-day role, you will be ideally positioned to challenge any exclusionary practices in your workplace. Additionally, senior leaders can embed inclusion practices into their wider practices and support line managers to effectively execute DEI policies and practices.

At Nomena.co.uk, we work closely with executive-level leaders to co-create diversity and inclusion frameworks and strategies that yield tangible results in the long term. Throughout our practice, we leverage a multi-disciplinary approach, leaning on principles from psychology, business and management to help you unlock the benefits of diversity and inclusion within your organisation.

If you’re ready to take action on diversity and inclusion in your organisation, please contact Nomena.co.uk to learn more.