The importance of diversity inclusion
CW: This article discusses topics of mental illness and suicide which could be distressing to some readers.
When looking at the world around you, there are patterns everywhere you look. Ranging from food to places to people there is one common similarity, and that is diversity. No two things are the same.
Diversity is the differences among groups of people based on ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, religion, sexual orientation etc.
This applies to us; whether you are under this umbrella term diverse or know someone who is, it is important to think about it as it is part of our daily lives. As we interact with people every day in society, it becomes more important to include and accept those around us to ensure social justice is achieved.
It can become easy to be blindsided when hearing about diversity and inclusion if it becomes mentioned so often and doesn't affect you. Yet, what does this say? It means diversity in either racial relations or gender is still not completely equal. It is important to advocate security and fairness to all members of society in the workplace.
However, this may not always be the case and can be hard to empathise with others if not in that position. As we go through life, the workplace becomes a prominent part of our lives and how you are treated becomes more important than ever. There was inclusion in the workplace when the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Race Relations Act 1976 came into effect stopping direct exclusion. Yet, this doesn't help stop indirect exclusion in the workplace. For instance, imagine, walking into your workplace and your boss gives everyone bonuses but not you. Or everyone in your grade of work moves up except you because of WHO YOU ARE!
Imagining this is not nice to think, but this is just imagining. Yet, this is a reality for some young women or those of ethnic backgrounds... being unvalued becuase of who you are. With Black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups in the workplace having a reduced chance of getting promotions and be more likely to be disciplined than other employees.
This has help pave the way for active change in encouraging diversity and inclusion in these workplaces.
Some positives of the modern day in the workplace
Throughout time, even when laws came into place diversity was acknowledged only in a negative way. For instance, occupational segregation whereby workers were segregated in their workplace according to their characteristics. Yet, in the most recent years diversity has been taken more seriously trying to break these underlining stigma's people have. This has become prominent in the fashion industry with the implementation of plus size models and pro-diversity campaigns.
Diversity has become utilised in workplaces to increase revenue for their companies but also combating the Sustainable Development Goals put into place since 2016.
"Companies that have racially, and ethnically diverse employees are 35% more likely to financially perform above their industry’s average".
Also, greater efforts have been made to ensure the fairness of the staff with development of flex-time and home work stations, training programmes to diminish stereotyping and increasing cultural sensitivity. It has been found ensuring fariness has impacted workers in believing these organisations are more advanced. As "74% of them believe companies that value diversity and inclusion are more innovative". This shows diversity and inclusion is valued towards people as they value in fulfilling social justice.
So we have come along way... do we need to really do anything else? We seem to have everything in order so I don't really need to do anything do I? you may question. This is what most people think now but it is not correct. Those of ethnic backgrounds and women still do not have equality and fairness compared to there peers not only here but is most prevalent in other undeveloped countries. For example, Brazil, Africa, India etc.
Sadly, other countries do not have values and understanding governments than Westernised cultures. This is crucial because without all societies creating fairness and security together, social justice will be impossible to achieve.
How YOU could be the missing link to empower Social Justice
Once again, the question is: Is diversity that important? Is answered. But more importantly is it paramount to me? is now answered with a yes. Is there complete fairness across all diverse platforms in the workplace? Whether that you are a woman yourself, someone from an ethnic background or understanding the struggle these members of society have gone through/going through. Social justice will never be fulfilled unless we come together. You have the power to ensure active change in diversity and inclusion in workplaces... by even just being an active listener and educating others.
This is so no one is blind or skip past the subject... lets make the world a better place and come together to make a better tomorrow for if not you, others. Imagine no strikes, no wars.. but peace!
Let you be the missing link to empower social justice!