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16.02.2024

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

For companies that want to stay competitive in today's global marketplace, implementing effective equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) strategies is no longer optional - it's essential.

Research consistently demonstrates that fostering diverse, welcoming environments delivers tangible benefits, ranging from attracting talent to driving innovation and boosting profits. For example, a recent report by Open for Business reveals that the top 25 corporations for LGBTQ+ transparency are 2.3x more profitable than the bottom 25.

So, what do we mean by "ED&I"? Equality means fairness – preventing discrimination, providing equal access and opportunities, and giving everyone the support and resources they need to overcome barriers and pursue their ambitions on a level playing field. While supporting equality at the company culture level is vital, you also need to embed it formally at the policy level – for example, we set clear standards for equality in our ED&I Policy, CSR Policy, Equal Opportunities Policy, Equality Policy, and Ethical Trading Policy.

Diversity refers to the presence of different backgrounds, perspectives, and strengths within a company's workforce across dimensions like gender, age, disability, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Meanwhile, inclusion means ensuring that all employees feel valued, respected and heard - that they belong. 

The fact is diversity alone means little without inclusion. You can hire a highly diverse staff, but if minorities feel consistently shut out from key decisions or social events, they often leave, resulting in a revolving door of diverse hires who never stick around. Inclusion ensures diverse voices get airtime, diverse employees receive equitable opportunities to advance, and contributions from all groups receive appreciation.

Now, how precisely does cultivating equality, diversity and inclusion translate to the bottom line?

Enhances Innovation 

Diversity brings together people who think differently, have different experiences, and approach challenges from different angles. These diverse lenses stimulate fresh ideas, creativity and problem-solving dexterity. Recent research revealed that companies with above-average diversity produced 19% more revenue from innovation.

Boosts Employee Retention 

No one wants to stay somewhere they feel unseen or unable to thrive as their authentic self – it wears down their mental health. Employees seek environments that support both personal and professional growth. The companies that rank highest for diversity and inclusion enjoy up to 22% less turnover than their less inclusive competitors.

 Strengthens Customer Alignment

Who better to understand diverse customers than a diverse workforce? Employees who share cultural backgrounds or experiences with your clientele can provide insider insight to help you pinpoint unmet needs and hone your messaging. Customer satisfaction links directly to market share gains and profitability.

The data speaks for itself – cultivating equality, diversity and inclusion grants a demonstrable competitive edge. The time is now for leaders to foster work cultures where all talent feels empowered to bring their best selves to move companies forward.

For guidance on hiring diverse teams speak with Abacus.