How to make your workplace more diverse

Are you looking to create a more inclusive work environment in your company? Read on to find out the benefits and how you can nurture one in your business.

What is workplace diversity?

Workplace diversity is about valuing every individual in your organisation and creating an environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation and physical ability among other things.

An effective diversity and inclusion strategy should go beyond what’s required of a company by law. It should aim to add value to your company by boosting your employees’ esteem and well-being and encouraging engagement, positivity and satisfaction.

What are the benefits?

A happy workplace is a productive workplace and if you can create an environment where everyone feels represented and valued, regardless of their ethnicity, gender or age, a business will reap the benefits. Research has shown that companies in the top quartile for gender and ethnic diversity are 25% more likely to achieve above-average returns for their industry. This increases even more when gender diversity is displayed in the senior executive team, whereas companies in the bottom quartile are statistically less likely to achieve above average returns.

Not only that, but the more diverse your workforce, the more innovative it is. A study of over 7,500 London firms showed evidence of a small but significant ‘diversity bonus’ meaning that companies with a diverse management were more likely to develop new products than those with a homogenous top team.

What can you do to increase workplace diversity?

Encourage applications from diverse backgrounds

Make it easy as possible for candidates from all walks of life to apply for roles within your company. Encourage your current employees to recommend people for the role and explicitly state on the job description that you an equal opportunities employer.

Make it easy for people to apply

Don’t just rely on the usual suspects when it comes to advertising your roles. Consider posting jobs on niche job boards that specialise in diversity, such as Diversity Jobsite.

Have a diverse interview panel

Make sure your interview panel reflects the kind of company you want to be. Not only will it help to dilute any unconscious bias, but it will improve the equality principles of your recruitment process, as well as make the interviewing process much less intimidating for the type of candidates you hope to attract.

Be active and open to making your workplace more diverse

From providing wheelchair accessible vehicles, such as the ones available from Allied Mobility to transport disabled colleagues to events and meetings, to offering a place for employees to pray, simple things can make a big difference. Encourage your employees to make suggestions anonymously and commit to reviewing them every month or so.

Reassess your employee benefits

Review your benefits packages to make sure that they’re fair and accessible to everyone. Think about what else you could offer that would benefit a diverse workforce.

As you will now have discovered, making your workforce more inclusive and diverse is beneficial to everyone. And if you start incorporating the following suggestions, you and your employees will soon begin to reap the rewards.

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