It’s not actually breaking news that the levels of diversity and inclusion within the workforce across the globe are alarmingly low. According to MoneyCNN.com, only 24 out of 500 companies have female CEOs, while just 6 of those 24 companies have 3 females among top executive personnel. The problem with African-american CEOs is even bigger as only 3 of them even made the Fortune 500 CEOs list.
These numbers are just tip of the iceberg data. Should we delve even deeper into the underbelly of this insightful numbers, we will see that the statistics are even more worrisome with other marginalized identity groups like Latinx and LGBT. This is a major, global problem that requires spotlight and needs proper, long-term solutions, not quick fixes.
This is where diversity and inclusion step in. Not only will inclusion and diversity lead to genuine equality in the long run, it will also help communities and businesses boost their innovation and creativity levels, increase their ROI, and bump up market shares.
Among those who are not just patting themselves on the back for merely coming up with quick fixes, but are actually doing their best to raise awareness of the aforementioned issues is the company called The Winters Group, Inc. and their potent blog The Inclusion Solution.
Changing the Perspective on D&I
With over 30 years of experience in diversity and inclusion strategy development, The Winters Group and their Inclusion Solution program have been inspiring and helping businesses, agencies and companies promote inclusion and develop sustainable diversity through actionable training and education. These D&I strategies are able to boost a company’s organizational performance, but also allow for the complete unlocking of all the potential that hides within each and every person they hire.
The Inclusion Solution tackles some of the greatest ethnic and multicultural issues through 4 core offerings:
- Cultural Audits
- Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Development
- Training and Education
- Keynote Speaking
The Winters Group blog approaches the said issues by focusing on the topics of diversity and inclusion via 4 Inclusion Solution Columns, which include:
- A Point of View: This is a perspective and Op-Ed type of column that explores and delves deep into current events, theories, and practices and then addresses how and why these are linked to inclusion, equity, diversity and social justice.
- The Buzz: The Winters Group utilizes this column to explore and share their perspective on the ongoing D&I implications through latest trending topics and current events.
- Gen Y on D&I: This particular column serves as a platform for millenials and gives their perspective a voice on the issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and social justice.
- Feature Series: These typically include the coverage of topics on monthly basis and approach specific trends, stories and practices in regard to said issues.
Benefits of Diversity in the Workforce
We live in communities in which demographic shifts and changes are common and rather quick, while the ongoing economic globalization also makes way for business and companies around the globe to aim toward diversity in the workforce. It is all about work spaces resembling and matching the communities they operate. This is why the Inclusion Solution teams works toward hiring as diverse staff as possible, because employees with diverse cultural, social and language skills inevitably bring multiple strong benefits to the company.
Most impactful of these benefits include:
Diversity increases productivity and brings competitive advantages
In the study conducted by the University of Florida titled Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools, the the researchers and practitioners found that businesses come up with more and better solutions to the problems their customers have as diverse employees bring new ideas to the table. The authors also realized there was a big morale boost within the workplace.
Diversity increases creativity among employees
The research published by EthnoConnect (a company that specializes in diversity within workforce) suggests that diverse employees who come from various different cultures and backgrounds do wonders for the creativity and new, fresh approaches to solving problems and achieving goals.
Diversity positively impacts the company’s reputation
One of the most pertinent aspects of a company that has good reputation is whether they treat all their employees, both potential or current, the same way regardless of their:
- Ethnic background
- Sexual orientation
- Religious views
Any company that sees only talent and doesn’t discriminate will have high levels of morale, flexibility, creativity, efficiency, and on top of all of that – good reputation.
Empathy and Bridging Skills as the Core of The Inclusion Solution
Among the main mottos that this organization lives by is the one that comes from John Dewey: “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” In a world that still hasn’t reached the necessary levels of diversity and inclusion, one must start from the one thing that makes them possible – empathy. Only when you truly experience and incorporate empathy into both your work and your life are you able to progress and grow as a business and as a person.
According to The Winters Group and their Inclusion Solution blog, developing cultural competence is the main aspect and the how of inclusion, diversity and equity. The process of evolving into an empathic person requires a continuous development of the following 3 human features:
- Self-understanding: Involves pondering and unbiasedly reflecting on our own position in society and taking into consideration what influences our position and worldviews.
- Other-understanding: Demands our own unbiased reflection on our own experiences (or lack thereof) with persons whom we may refer to as “others” in our social context. It must include valuable insights into their worldviews, experiences and behaviors.
- Bridging skills: These skills encompass all the ties and connections your worldviews and experiences have with the “others”.
In a currently extremely polarized world, addressing the issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice is the only way to advocate them properly and help their progress. From the “big picture” standpoint, the human race is still in its infancy. We are still learning the basics of how we are supposed to feel and act in certain environments, contexts and situations, and that is ok. We’ve come a long way, but we simply must be willing to accept that we still have a long way to go. And as long as we are going in the right direction, the future of society and the workforce looks bright.