The Importance of Inclusion and Diversity in the Workplace
Finding a new person to join any team can be a challenge. From deciding if they have the proper experience to figuring out if they’ll be the right fit for the team, there are a lot of factors to consider. One that can be overlooked, but is of the utmost importance, is diversity and the importance of having a well-represented organisation.
When thinking of diversity in the workplace, it can be easy to pigeonhole the understanding of the term, to simply mean an employee’s ethnicity, however, diversity includes a variety of characteristics including religious and political beliefs, gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation and geographic location.1 With a diverse workforce must come an inclusive workplace, which is why the two terms go hand in hand. And while diversity and inclusion are always stressed, it is important to understand why.
Diversity = Better performance as a team
Some impressive statistics reinforce that having a diverse team will lead to better performance at a company. In a study analysing 200 teams across different companies, it was found that the diverse teams outperformed individuals 87% of the time and that these teams benefited from an improvement on decision making 60% of the time.2
To bring new ideas to the table
It’s common sense that a diverse group of people would generate an abundance of different ideas as they come from different backgrounds and ways of life – however, for this to happen, it is important that there is a work culture that embraces creativity, known as a culture of sharing knowledge.3 A community that truly fosters diversity and new ideas is a co-working or serviced office space. Putney is home to Proper Office, a serviced office space which also have offices in Shoreditch, where diversity and inclusion is encouraged through social events at their managed offices, bringing together a wide variety of individuals.
Your company’s image
To begin with, in the UK, larger organisations are required to publicly disclose their gender pay gap – therefore it is in a company’s best interest to have proper diversity and inclusion polices in place.4 It also looks better for a company to have a diverse team and the executive teams in place to enforce them – take Netflix who hired a Vice President for Inclusion Strategy and Uber who recently hired a Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer, both respected and successful brands. 5
By 2020, millennials are forecasted to make up 35% of the global workforce and it is these same millennials who are concerned about diversity and inclusion policies and consider them when deciding where to work.6 Therefore, it is important to factor this when seeking new employees as you could lose out on quality employees if you don’t have the right policies in place.
Whether you work at company’s headquarters’ or in serviced offices, London is a cultural melting pot with individuals from all different walks of life. This is why successful companies ensure they have a diversity and inclusion plan in place as it can only benefit an organisation, not hinder it.