Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Part 1

Diversity is a fact of the universe in which we live. The universe is made up of people who are as different and diverse from each other as can be. Therefore anything which has anything to do with this diverse set has to keep this fact in mind.

This is especially true when it comes to businesses and workplaces which have to cater to the needs and requirements of diverse and varied people. To understand the diverse target group, the workplaces must consist of diverse people who can understand the needs and requirements of this target group.

Unfortunately, this realisation has only begun to come in now. Most organisations in the past and even now were run by people with similar thought patterns and processes. People who thought alike came together to set up businesses and run workplaces without considering how limited and narrow the scope of their operations could become, which is what happened.

Now, people and organisations are becoming aware of the need to embrace diversity in all forms. Diversity in the workplace is becoming very big now. Diversity, Equity and inclusion have become the buzzwords in today’s world. Everywhere there is talk about how critical it is for organisations to adopt diversity, equity and inclusion in their functioning at all levels.

This basically means that all organisations, irrespective of their work, must have human resources that are as different and diverse as possible. This is critical for them to survive and thrive in today’s competitive world and face the future. The difference/diversity could be in terms of cultural, social, gender, economic, sexual or religious considerations.

 With diverse resources will come diverse perspectives, opinions and viewpoints, which is what organisations require to succeed in today’s world. Diversity implies that we have people from varied backgrounds who are all guided by their experiences, circumstances and choices. And thus, it is only natural that they will have a different take, a different view on a situation.

Similar thought processes and similar perspectives can no longer help because they are limited by how far they can go. When faced with a challenge, organisations need to address it in the best possible way by considering every likely scenario. It is like a battle where every move needs to be planned and thought through. Similarly aligned people may not be capable of that as their thought processes will be similar and hence limited. Therefore diversity is necessary. When there are people from different backgrounds with diverse skill sets and thought processes, the organisation will be better equipped as there will be more ammunition in its arsenal. These different people with different skill sets will have different ideas to handle situations. Thus when newness, freshness and change are brought to the table, situations/challenges can be faced in a holistic and all-encompassing manner.

Since challenges and issues are a given for organisations, they must adopt the best, most effective way of dealing with them. And therefore, diversity in organisations is a necessity. Similarities may have worked in the past when the world was simpler, but not any longer when complexities are on the rise. So not only the present but the future demands organisations embrace diversity in all forms.

Similarities have an advantage in that they lead to simpler, quicker and easier functioning with fewer variations, which may have worked in the past. But in the modern world, which is more demanding with its high volumes and massive operations, organisations need to look at things with a broader and a wider lens. They need to be far-sighted in their approach, which is why they need to adopt diversity and push similarity out of the door.

Diversity harbours creativity and adaptability and brings great ideas to the fore. A closed mind and workspace can never do that. Innovative, creative and fresh mindsets can do wonders for organisations in terms of their growth and success.

When adopted by organisations, this open approach can go a long way in widening and broadening people’s mindsets, leading to solutions to many problems that not only the organisation but even the world is currently facing. So when you bring diversity to the workplace, you eventually take it to society at large.

So bring diversity, bring freshness, and open your minds to keep your head above water; otherwise, you have no hope of surviving.

But is diversity enough to face the challenges these days, or do we need more??

Watch this space…

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