Inclusion is the bundle of actions in which different groups or individuals with certain characteristics are accepted, welcome, and treated as equals.
Nowadays, diversity and inclusion are two words that make a difference when it comes to competitiveness of a firm. Diversity is related to topics such as respect and appreciation of differences (nationality, sexual orientation, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, education level, marital status…) Inclusion corresponds to the actions in which different groups or individuals with distinct characteristics are accepted, welcome and treated as equals.
Moreover, companies in which the internal culture and employee happiness are listed as priorities are, from my point of view, firms with a higher probability of achieving their goals. A safe, comfortable and fair environment is essential to motivate an employee to do his/her best, leading to better results for the company. Diversity and inclusion should not be foreseen just as tools for internal culture but as strategic vision. In the medium/long term, a company environment that appreciates and validates its collaborators allows for great benefits.
For that reason, it is important to deconstruct negative stereotypes created by ignorance. We often create false ideas based on comments we hear or something we see. In an innocent way, we often take for granted that the receptor of our message shares the same vision or experience as us. Training on diversity and inclusion should be provided to all employees. These courses would approach topics like communication, a key topic. If we do not communicate in a correct way, we can be expressing ourselves badly without meaning to do so.
Investing in antidicrimination policies in the form internal campaigns, activities or even report channels is something that companies should be doing. Furthermore, it is also important to make sure that inclusive language is used, such as gender neutrality.
In order to identify the topics that should be worked on, there is a magical solution that all corporate leaders should use: listening. A firm that actually gives its collaborators a voice and supports professional growth creates an environment in which people are not afraid to share opinions and identify problems. This leadership style is characterized as collaborative and upholds a fundamental posture so that diversity and inclusion become indeed company values. It shows that the company is open for listening, orienting, inspiring and supporting.
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