The risk of confusing diversity with inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are two terms that are definitely interconnected but don’t mean the same things. 

A diverse work environment is one where groups of people with different backgrounds, ethnicities, capabilities, genders, and more, integrate and work cohesively. On the other hand, an inclusive work environment ensures that the diverse team feels valued, included, and appreciated in the workplace. 

When companies confuse diversity with inclusion, managers and team leaders could create a work environment that doesn’t genuinely make their diverse workforce feel like they belong. As a result, certain employees might not feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work or even staying with the company in the long run.

This blog post will cover how diversity and inclusion differ and how you can ensure both in the work environment.

Diversity And Inclusion: What’s The Difference, And How Can We Ensure Both?

Diversity is the “what,” and inclusion is the “how.” 

Diversity is about what kind of people make up an organization’s workforce. A diverse workplace should employ people from all walks of life – different age groups, religions, disabilities, sexualities, etc. On the other hand, inclusion is about how a company makes its diverse employees feel. An inclusive workplace is one in which every employee is given equal opportunities. This way, every employee feels valued, appreciated, and understood. 

Organizations often want to boost diversity in the workplace without prioritizing inclusion and the foundation needed to create a diverse workplace. As a result, hiring more women or other minority groups doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things if your company’s culture doesn’t truly embrace diversity and inclusion. This also makes it difficult for companies to achieve a long-term diverse work environment. 

Organizations can ensure diversity and inclusion in the workplace by training their leaders and managers. This way, managers are aware of potential biases and can set clear standards for employees in the workplace. Organizations can also implement diverse interview panels to show potential employees that the company prioritizes diversity and inclusion. 

Moreover, organizations should ensure that women and people of color are being promoted at the same rates and are paid equally for similar jobs and responsibilities. 

Another way to boost inclusion in the office is by introducing employee feedback surveys. This way, managers can uncover how employees feel and discover ways to improve certain business processes. 

Does Diversity = Inclusion?

Put simply, diversity is not the same as inclusion – there are two distinct processes businesses need to adopt to achieve inclusion and diversity.

However, many companies assume that workplace diversity is achieved once the recruitment team has hired people from varied demographics. As a result, they can check off the diversity box, making their annual report look impressive. But it isn’t that simple.

Organizations also need to adopt systems to counter bias, stereotypes, and prejudice to create a work environment that’s truly diverse and inclusive. Moreover, companies need to invest in employee resource groups, team-based decision-making processes, managerial training, D&I committees, etc. 

Consequently, it’s not enough to just hire people of different ethnicities, religions, genders, and sexualities. Organizations can only reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace once they invest in inclusion. Additionally, companies that invest in inclusion often outpace their competitors since their various employees feel a sense of belonging and psychological safety. This way, every employee feels confident enough to contribute to team meetings, projects, problem-solving processes, and more.

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that allow you to create an inclusive and diverse workplace while simultaneously boosting employee engagement and productivity.