The How and Why of Diversity and Inclusion

One TED-talk speaker described it this way: Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.

You want your guests – in this case, that would be your employees – to feel welcomed, valued and involved. But that’s not always an organic process, so many organizations have introduced programs and initiatives to ensure that everyone gets a fair shot.

Diversity and Inclusion is an essential part of running an organization today. Research shows that companies that value diversity and inclusion are more innovative, dynamic and attractive to top talent.

Top companies use initiatives such as Employee Resource Groups, cultural awareness programs, heritage celebrations and more to highlight opportunities for everyone. Sometimes offering options such as flexible scheduling or job sharing allows different generations to stay fully engaged in the workforce. Other resources include employee assistance programs, wellness initiatives, rooms for nursing mothers and meditation rooms.

What’s the difference between diversity and inclusion?
Forbes magazine explains it this way:  Diversity is the who and the what: who’s sitting around that table, who's being recruited, who's being promoted, who we’re tracking from the traditional characteristics and identities of gender and ethnicity, and sexual orientation and disability—inherent diversity characteristics that we're born with.

Inclusion, on the other hand, is the how. Inclusion is the behaviors that welcome and embrace diversity. If you are a great leader for inclusion, you have figured out how to embrace and galvanize diversity of voices and identities.”

Companies that invest in robust D & I programs often experience these bonuses:

  • Employee engagement scores typically rise when workers feel included.

  • Research shows that an empathetic and caring workplace can have a profoundly positive effect on employee well-being by reinforcing the social aspects of appreciate and respect.
  • Today’s top job applicants are looking for diverse, inclusive companies where they can be there best.

Share your organization’s story and offerings, through as many channels as possible to boost recruitment. At Rhudy & Co., we’ve helped tell stories of successful employee resource group activities, of how veterans integrate into the workforce and how multigenerational workplaces have inspired and enlivened workplaces.

We help clients apply for – and win – prestigious awards such as DiversityInc.’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity designation. We crunch the numbers, we interview the employees and we write the essays.

The payoff can be huge: employees who not only do a happy dance, but who are committed to doing amazing work.