Cultivating Diversity, Inclusion & Equity for Greater Growth

We live in a world that has multiple layers of complexity. A world in which we co-exist with endless differences, in language, gender, age, background, sexual orientation, income, tradition, religion, ideas, values, physical and mental abilities and the list goes on... This large and complex realm of differences in human co-existence is what we call “Diversity”. It is no secret that diversity and all its facets make it harder for people to connect and empathize with each other. Yet, we still deal with it on daily basis. Even though humans are intricate beings, we still have more similarities than not and what unites us are our similarities.    


Diversity Vs Inclusion


“Diversity and Inclusion” are so often used together that it makes it seem like they are the same thing, but they are not. They are separate concepts that complement each other, and they cannot replace one another. It is possible for an environment to be inclusive and not diverse or diverse and not inclusive. Diversity is about representation or the make-up of an entity. Inclusion is about how well the contributions, presence, and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment.


Diversity refers to a wide variety of inherent and acquired differences. Most people understand it on a very small level. It often is defined with easily identifiable differences like Racism or Sexism, and that definition then becomes limited to an extremely narrow view of human reality. “Diversity” represents far wider distinctions than what we think we know.


Inclusion refers to an equal opportunity culture. It is the active effort of creating an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all individuals. It’s about redefining implicit bias and challenging the idea that different means inferior. It is the “secret ingredient” that makes a diverse workplace more innovative, profitable, and engaging.


Creating Equity


Truly diverse environments cultivate the ability to forge healthy and productive relationships. Although it is not an easy task to navigate differences between people and build good relations in the workplace. Research shows that most of the challenges that organizations face is in fact not in recruitment and marketing, but in retention.

So how to create equity through effective diversity and inclusion policies? The answer is not very simple and straight forward, because each organization has its own complex culture and goals. But here are a few ideas to start with:


1-     When you hire or form diverse teams, you immediately widen your talent pool. Target diverse candidates for each level of the organization and give them a seat at the table: leadership, mid-level and entry-level. Provide equal opportunities - Avoid barriers to entry, like unnecessary advanced degrees or expensive certifications, in the hiring process.

2-     Fix your inclusion culture before you start recruiting. You can’t expect that your newly diverse hires will repair your corporate culture from within. This is a major factor for hiring and retaining people.

3-     Despite all the differences, focus on the similarities. This will help establish a common ground or in other words a “baseline” to start with. One major similarity, which should be taken into consideration is the fact that we all want to belong and be part of something bigger than ourselves. We all want to feel valuable and be seen as individuals. There are multiple articles and research published by thought leaders and phycologists about the importance of “belongingness” and why it is the essence of a credible inclusive environment. This could be a good topic source to investigate.

4-     Appoint someone in charge of D&I whose goal is to ensure the success of your cultural transformation policy and provide them a seat at the table. Make your leaders accountable to the company’s DEI goals as well. These goals must be modeled, implemented, measured, and encouraged.  

5-     Build your organizational capacity by providing resources, trainings, coaching, to confront biases, challenge assumptions and facilitate conversations that are geared to improve organizational behavior and culture. Provide a safe environment for your people to come forward and talk about what is wrong.


In Summary, diversity and inclusion are vital for individuals, organizations, and society. Building a diverse and inclusive environment requires thoughtfulness and intention. By promoting diversity and inclusion, organizations can create great transformational cultures, where everyone is respected and valued. This can lead to improved morale, increased productivity, and a greater sense of belonging among employees. It is important for organizations to recognize and embrace diversity and inclusion to create a positive work environment and foster collaboration among employees. This includes creating policies and practices that promote equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of their diverse background or identity.