As employers, most of us are familiar with the concept of Inclusive Diversity in the workplace. The terms Equity and Belonging may be less familiar to many. But all four terms go concurrently for an organization to boost success rate and productivity, retain employee talent, promote employee’s professional growth and satisfy the end customers. A Deloitte study reveals that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) offers an organization a 46% increase in competitive advantage in any industry, 40% better and more accurate decision making, and a 34% increase in financial performance.
But what exactly do each of these terms mean?
Here is a breakdown of each term in DEIB(Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging) and their influence on an organization’s work culture.
Every individual is unique in identity and thoughts. Diversity refers to the range of human differences in terms of, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, LGBTQ+ status, socioeconomic status, age, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values, national origin, and political beliefs. From an organizational perspective, diversity refers to the understanding that every person is shaped by individual and distinct thoughts and opinions and employing a pool of talent from diverse backgrounds to collaborate under one roof to contribute to the betterment of the organization. Any organization must understand the various forms of diversity in the workplace to achieve its vision of creating a workplace enriched with a diverse talent of employees and fostering evolving teams to unfold innovation to meet end customer demands.
Does an organization’s part in creating a diverse workplace stop with just employing individuals from diverse backgrounds? Is bringing a diverse talent of employees under one roof enough for the success of an organization?
No. Diversity is incomplete without Inclusion. In layman’s terms, if diversity refers to the individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, Inclusion is how the pieces are put together to form a complete picture.
A successful team in an organization is characterized by certain traits.
- The way employees interact with each other.
- The way individual ideas are welcome in the team, irrespective of the status of employees.
- How a team receives the inputs of various employees?
- The criticism offered to the employees by their colleagues and managers. Is feedback uplifting the team’s performance or demotivating?
Inclusion refers to creating and fostering a work environment that welcomes and respects the ideas of every individual in a team, sans discrimination of any form. Individuals who feel valued and esteemed in the workplace, irrespective of their backgrounds, contribute their fullest to an organization’s growth.
The two concepts, Equity and equality, may sound similar. However, there is a stark difference between the two. Equality refers to treating all employees identically, irrespective of their historical and systematic barriers and privileges. But Equity redefines the whole way in which employees are being treated in an organization.
Equity is when all employees in the workplace are treated fairly and given appropriate access to resources to perform their jobs with equal opportunities, considering their systematic barriers and privileges.
Let’s make this clear with an example. To a person with a disability, an equitable workplace provides quick access to all resources to contribute to the team and succeed professionally. Minority quotas for employment are another example.
Equity in the workplace helps employees break all barriers to succeed individually and contribute to their team with involvement and dedication.
Belonging is the aspect of DEIB that binds an organization by providing the employees with the experience of belonging and acceptance in the workplace. Some employees in the workplace may be hesitant to bring their ideas to the table because of their background. Some employees may feel indecisive about coming out about their sexual orientation for fear of being judged or ridiculed. A team should actively encourage all employees to contribute and voice their inputs. An organization where every employee is given the assurance of acceptance and belonging conveys a clear message that the organization values the employees. And this sense of belonging enables every employee to contribute their best to the team.
Refer to our other articles on DEIB to know more