When there’s a more equal culture in the workplace, everyone rises. Accenture’s Getting To Equal 2020 research shows that women are four times more likely to reach senior manager and director-level roles when they work in inclusive and gender-sensitive organizations. And not just women—men are also twice as likely to reach these levels.
What’s more, employees joining the workforce are closely observing the overall culture of a company and the commitment of the leadership to build a more inclusive culture. For 75 percent of Gen Z employees, inclusive culture is a key factor influencing their association with a brand. Here are five reasons why diverse and inclusive companies are better for employees:
They provide a rich exposure to people from different cultures
A diverse workplace offers people the opportunity to collaborate with co-workers who bring different work styles and life experiences. In fact, employees benefit not just from cultural and ethnic diversity, but also from multigenerational work environments. Workers belonging to older generation learn more about new technologies and processes from the younger, tech-savvy generation. Likewise, younger employees learn from the experience of their seniors.
Talking about another aspect of diversity, Maya Varma, Head – HR of Pidilite Industries, says, "Sales roles in our organization had mostly been dominated by men till about the last decade. But not anymore. We have brought about this change with the intention to not just become an equal employer across all functions, but also bring about sensitivity among employees for the other gender. This then brings about change in the mindset of employees, ultimately instilling it in the culture and DNA of the organization."
They foster creativity and innovation
The Getting To Equal 2020 report highlights that 85 percent of employees work with a greater "innovation mindset" without fear of failure in an equal and diverse culture. A diverse environment fosters continuous learning, as it challenges people to reexamine preconceived ideas, notions and perspectives.
They provide more opportunities for organic growth
Workplace diversity enhances an organization’s ability to expand their reach to global markets. This, in turn, increases opportunities for promotion and employee development. Such companies appeal to employees interested in learning multinational strategies, taking on challenging expatriate assignments and getting global exposure.
"For all women employees who are with us, better representation of women in leadership roles is a reaffirmation of their future prospects in the organization. They know we will invest in them because we believe in the power of diversity," says Chetna Gogia, Head – Corporate HR, Policybazaar.com.
They promote mutual respect, leading to fewer conflicts
Working together in teams, employees recognize the many strengths and talents that diversity brings to the workplace. This, in turn, promotes mutual respect, reduces the likelihood of conflict and facilitates easier resolution.
They instill a sense of purpose among employees
When employees feel a sense of belonging and valued for their unique perspectives, they feel respected and part of a larger purpose. This leads to greater productivity and higher levels of job satisfaction. So, companies with a strong focus on inclusion and diversity create a win-win situation for their employees and themselves. Hegeler Solomon, Director – People & Organization, Mars Wrigley India, says, "Counting people is diversity, but making people count is inclusion. Diversity without inclusion is futile. Thus, diversity and inclusion go hand in hand."
So, there’s one thing that companies looking to attract top talent to innovate and grow in these uncertain times must prioritize—a culture of equality. It must be right up there with financial growth on their agenda.