Diversity in the workplace has been a hot topic, and lots of people and businesses are advocating for change towards a more equal and inclusive workplace. Whether it’s about race, religion, gender, orientation, or any other difference between individuals, the business world seems to be changing for the better. But is it enough?
The Changing Workplace
With lots of people arguing the case for equal rights and protesting for the cause, the corporate environment has changed quite a lot in recent years. In addition to complying with anti-discrimination laws, companies now have equal rights and workplace discrimination policies in place to further protect their employees. Many organisations and workplaces also have diversity quotas that they aim to fill when hiring new employees.
But inclusion shouldn’t just be about ticking boxes; statistics show that companies actually thrive with a more diverse workforce. This report shows that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, while those in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely.
These are impressive statistics! They make a solid economic case for pursuing diversity in the workplace that can’t be ignored.
Diversity in the workplace
While diversity in the workplace is clearly a positive factor, we’ve all seen times where thoughtlessness, ignorance, or bigotry have reared their ugly heads and made an issue of diversity. It takes thoughtfulness, conscious effort, to ensure that a workplace is inclusive for everyone.
Despite the best efforts of management, and of your individual coworkers, there are occasions where diversity in the workplace can cause discomfort. People can often be completely unaware that their behavior is having a negative impact on someone else; and when you factor in different types of diversity, these issues can become complicated.
Maybe you’ve experienced exclusion and prejudice in the workplace because of who you are or what you believe, or maybe you’ve witnessed it happen to someone else and wish that things were different. Whoever you are, here are a few ways to handle and face these challenges.
We all have to show some resilience in the workplace, but discrimination poses additional challenges. It is important to stay resilient in the face of these challenges and use them as motivation to succeed and prove people wrong. While these issues shouldn’t just be swept under the rug, being able to deal with them in a calm and thoughtful manner can make the situation a positive learning experience for everyone.
Be true to yourself
You should never bend to meet people’s expectations. Be who you are no matter what people say, and don’t be afraid to be honest about who you are; and don’t be afraid to show people with your actions.
Support the cause
Lots of people around the world are facing similar challenges to you, both in the workplace and out of it, and there are plenty of organisations and associations out there supporting the cause and helping to further it.
We owe it to ourselves and to our coworkers to actively work towards a more equitable and inclusive workplace. Much has been done in recent years to abate discrimination in the workplace, but it takes the thoughtful resilience of positive colleagues and peers to keep a workplace free from negativity and discrimination. If we work together to support each other and support diversity, our teams will be that much more successful.
Get in touch if you need any support facing these challenges in the workplace.