What is DEI and Why is it important?
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has become a crucial, transformational element in the workplace as well as within our society. Many employers, like Unisys, are embracing DEI and have made changes to their recruiting and hiring processes.
DEI ensures these processes are looking at a diverse set of candidates for job opportunities from within and outside of the company to establish a diverse, inclusive workplace with equal opportunity, and a diverse leadership team, where associates feel like they belong.
You want your workforce to have a strong sense of belonging that will positively impact their happiness and engagement which in turn increases their productivity and the likelihood to stay longer with the organization.
Why is Diversity so important?
Diversity in the workplace today is not simply something needed to maintain or improve a company’s reputation. Diversity provides greater access to a wide range of talent, which in turn delivers insights into the needs and motivations of a broader client base. Workplace diversity has many proven benefits, including improved productivity and problem-solving, greater innovation, better employee performance and increased profits.
What are the types of Diversity?
Diversity in the workplace means employing people with different characteristics. Today, workplace diversity covers a range of characteristics that include but are not limited to:
- Sexual orientation
- Socioeconomic background
- Military service
How can you promote Diversity?
Promoting diversity starts with oneself. You can foster diversity in the workplace by embracing it and building an understanding of it for yourself. Make a point of educating yourself about different cultures and traditions, and be open to new ideas and perspectives. Get to know your colleagues from different places and backgrounds. A workplace that values and embraces different ways of thinking will foster diverse relationships and partnerships among colleagues and clients.
Launching and maintaining Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives are important steps in helping companies attract, retain, and develop a diverse workforce. Depending on the specific industry and on a company’s targeted areas for improvement, DEI initiatives will look different. Typically, they may include any of the following: supporting the formation of Associate Interest Groups (or Employee Resource Groups); conducting unconscious bias awareness trainings, promoting pay equity, or establishing global mentoring programs.
What does Equity mean?
Equity means fairness and impartiality but also accepts that biases and obstacles exist for many that do not exist for others. Equity acknowledges that not all begin on an even playing field so work must be done to compensate for that. Equity and equality are not the same. Equality strives to ensure all have the same things to be successful but it assumes that everyone starts equally as well, which is not true. Achieving workplace equity requires correcting that disparity, through support systems – so all have equal opportunity.
Why is Equity important in the workplace?
Equity in the workplace means that everyone is treated fairly. When equity prevails, all employees have equal access to opportunities. The workplace is then advantageous for both the employees and the employer. Equity also fosters employee retention, attracts talent, drives diversity, and enhances the bottom line.
Having a workforce is a business imperative for most companies. By welcoming, valuing, and ensuring equal opportunities for all ethnicities, races, ages, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations, a company can create a culture that’s truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Companies that embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion tend to be more innovative, creative, and agile as well as attract and retain more top talent.
Having a global Inclusion and Diversity Council in a company is critical to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. The council should include representatives from every region and business unit as well as members who reflect your company’s geographic demographics in relation to gender, ethnicity, race and disability.
What does Inclusion mean?
Each individual employee represents a unique set of experience, skills, capabilities, aspirations and more. Inclusion in the workplace means that all individuals are encouraged and empowered to share their insights and to contribute fully to the organization’s success. Inclusion is necessary for workplace diversity to succeed and is essential for employee engagement, productivity, and happiness.
Companies should establish and provide corporate governance for their ethics, compliance, privacy, security, and supply chain programs. Governance is every individual’s responsibility in a corporation and they are accountable for complying with the policies and procedures defined within the law that apply to their job. It is key to have all associates trained regularly on these policies and provide a place to go for questions or to report any compliance concerns.
Why is Inclusion so important?
An inclusive workplace environment, where a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and ways of thinking are valued and embraced, allows employees to feel comfortable being themselves, which in turn, boosts their engagement and productivity levels.