The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Diversity, No longer just a passing trend


Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are closely linked values held by many organizations. It entails being supportive of different groups of individuals from varied races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations. A diverse and inclusive workplace is essentially one that makes every employee or
staff member, regardless of who they are or what their role is, feel equally involved in all areas of the workplace.
According to McKinsey, diverse and inclusive organisations are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors. As per HBR, diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets. BCG claims that diverse management teams lead to 19% higher revenue. Clear Company statistics showcase that companies with equal number of men and women generate up to 41% higher revenue

Organisations need to wake up and smell the coffee. Unlike cargo pants, baggy jeans, bellbottoms, high-waisted pants, D&I is not a passing trend. It’s one of the effective way to succeed.

So how do we begin?

As we are discussing pros and cons in our D&I series, lets focus on how to make small but meaningful beginning.

  1. Each small step towards D&I counts
    What matters is the impact initiatives creates in making lives of the employees easy. Design a program that translates these skills into practical examples. Be specific, pinpointing how exactly employees are or will practice these behaviours.
    For instance, Myntra is truly raising the bar for how gender sensitization and diversity is approached in the modern Indian workplace. They have reserved parking for expecting mothers, an in-house creche, and #WeForShe initiative, which conducts sessions to address the challenges faced by women at the workplace.
    Capgemini, one of the most LGBTQ friendly Indian companies, stands out with its inclusion and diversity program. Support for gender reassignment surgery, all-gender washrooms at offices, medical insurance that covers employees’ partners, irrespective of their gender truly shows how essential is it to be inclusive.
  2. Not a campaign, but a way to work
    D&I needs to be woven into the very fabric of the organisation; making it as the only ‘way to work’ together. Most organizations treat diversity and inclusion as a standalone initiative owned exclusively by HR teams. But to bring in true change, every leader in the company needs to own up the responsibility of following D&I practices through an inclusive and empathetic leadership style.
    In 2020, Tata Steel was recognized as the Top Employer for LGBT+ inclusion by IWEI (India Workplace Equality Index). Whether it is leave for new parents or their holistic D&I program that ensures equal opportunity hiring for all, they are reinstating that it’s the only way to work in today’s scenario.
    Tech Mahindra has received global recognition for its policies to meet the needs of all – the parents, the kids, the LGBTQ+ community, new mothers, people of different nationalities, ages, sexes, specially-abled people, underprivileged communities. Programs such as COLORS, Mentoring Tables, Role Model Series give women an opportunity to develop their careers. They also have self-defence and financial wellness programs for women to have a secured future.
  3. Talk about it, everywhere
    It is essential to tell the world your story. That’s how case studies become norms and initiatives become a culture. Social media plays a great role of enabling this.

Culture Machine paved the way for transformational policies by instituting the First Day of Period leave for all its women and transgender employees. They are known for creating a stir with their content and are not that far behind with their conversation-starter policies aimed at promoting gender diversity in the
IBM engages people with disabilities in departments such as Project Management, Programming, Consulting, Operations, Quality Assurance and Human Resources. It also boasts of India specific technologies that increase accessibility for PwDs such Hindi Speech recognition solutions.
To enhance the engagement of its LGBTQ employees, Accenture sponsors a global event- ‘Pride at Accenture’ to offer guidance and support for its transgender employees along with an LGBTQ+ Ally Program, where employee get a safe space to raise awareness, sensitize and educate the workforce.

It’s true! Cultivating a diverse workforce is more than an agenda item. It’s an investment in a company’s future. The sooner firms do it, the better are their chances of survival in the global scenario.

A more modern take on the idea of diversity is fuelled by ‘diversity hiring’. It involves actively hiring candidates from diversified backgrounds and ensuring that their talent and skills are being analysed instead of their background. Needless to say that this involves highly skilful approach as one is
caters to the limited talent pool.
Other Sources: