Inclusivity is a Necessity for Modern Businesses
Inclusivity is not diversity. For years, there has been emphasis on creating diverse workplaces. But discussions on diversity are limited to the different individuals brought into a company, and can often turn into a numbers game of meeting quotas. Inclusiveness, on the other hand, focuses on how these people that are brought in are involved and made important. This is a crucial distinction. Companies that embrace inclusivity are more likely to succeed and help build a more equal society.
Even from the selfish viewpoint of avarice and profits, inclusiveness makes sense. A study by Deloitte LLP concluded that an inclusive company is eight times likelier to achieve better business outcomes, twice as likely to meet or exceed financial goals, and six times likelier to be innovative. Diversity Council Australia has an Inclusion@Work Index that illustrates that inclusiveness leads to 10 times greater productivity. A study by Korn Ferry from March 2019 states that about two-thirds of executives found that inclusion programs aid employee retention. Research clearly shows that diversity and inclusivity lead to improved chances of success.
This approach also leads to happier and healthier workers. According to the Inclusion@Work Index, people in an inclusive work environment were less likely to be harassed, more likely to be satisfied with their job, and nine times likelier to innovate. It is no surprise that corporations are striving to ensure employees are treated fairly, have purpose, and have opportunities to contribute. For example, Australia Post has a public action plan in which they outline their commitment to the people in the company and how this will positively affect the community. Important steps in becoming more inclusive include determining and reducing leaders’ biases, nurturing a listening environment, and building a strong employee resource group. Companies that do not take these steps risk losing their people to organizations that do.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for corporations to ignore all of this. Inclusivity is highly valued amongst youth, and young professionals are expected to make up a huge majority of the workforce in the coming years. Part of the reason it is so important for them is because of the broader impacts. Inclusive companies lead to more satisfied people and better connections between us, which ultimately leads to greater social and economic growth. By working with Indigenous businesses, Australia Post is aligned with the country’s Sustainable Development Goals that help reduce inequality. Improving a company through a focus on inclusiveness improves the communities and world around it.
Diversity is important. Yet reaching certain numbers of groups of people achieves little unless there is a plan to ensure they are valued. Companies that embrace inclusivity are more likely to succeed, change the world around them for the better, and are better prepared for the future. The mindset of the up and coming generation already places much-deserved importance on inclusiveness. This is an important step towards equality in an increasingly unequal civilization. It can turn the tide of rampant economic and social inequality. Companies cannot afford to ignore inclusivity, and neither can the world.
Johnson, Julie. “Why inclusion is good for business, and how it differs from diversity.” Orlando Business Journal. https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2019/04/16/why-inclusion-is-good-for-business-and-how-it.html
The Guardian. “Why companies should aim for inclusivity, not just diversity.” https://www.theguardian.com/australia-post-building-a-sustainable-future/2019/aug/27/why-companies-should-aim-for-inclusivity-not-just-diversity
Vlemmiks, Fiona. “Why diversity and inclusion should be a top priority for all businesses.” BusinessLive. https://www.business-live.co.uk/enterprise/diversity-inclusion-should-top-priority-16900338