Workplace diversity is the new buzzword for 2018. It refers to the inclusion of all. A person’s employment should be based on one’s capabilities for the role, and nothing more or less. Often we think of including those of different cultural background as being the only diversity needed, but workplace diversity runs deeper than this.
To benefit from workplace diversity and help your organisation grow, it’s important to understand the following facets of diversity:
- Ethnicity and cultural background
- Religious beliefs
- Educational level
- Sexual orientation
Gender diversity (social equality)
Gender diversity is all about having men and women in all equal roles at work. When you include one without the other we miss out on differing ways of solving problems. Each gender brings with it a diverse array of personalities, temperaments, experiences and alternative points of view.
With youth comes radiance and a willingness to learn new ideas. As we age we get more experienced in all facets of life and this brings wisdom to the workplace. No one should ever be discounted based on their age. If someone is able, and willing to do the task at hand, then they will be a good employee.
Cultural ethnicity and linguistic diversity
Australia is multicultural. We are a beacon in the Western World for our tolerance. Workplace diversity can benefit hugely from having a multicultural workforce. Having linguistically diverse workforce is a benefit to the employer. People often feel comfortable when they can speak in their first language to others e.g. work colleagues, customers etc. Things can be explained better.
Many people have disabilities, however some disabilities are not obvious to the eye. Creating a workforce including those who are disabled means they have a chance to earn an income and contribute to society.
Catering to all religious beliefs is the way to go at work. One should try to integrate those with differing religious beliefs. You might think that it would in fact cause tension, but it can in fact, it can have the opposite affect by building tolerance and understanding.
Just because someone has not been to university, or went to a public school etc, doesn’t mean they are not capable. Often life’s experiences are a bigger teacher than you could get from a university education. Real-world experiences in a previous role can often be more valuable than education.
Someone’s sexual orientation does not affect their ability to get a job done. People are the way they are, and should never be made to feel less than human. Their sexuality is no one’s business anyway.
This includes married parents, single parents, grandparents, foster carers, other carers. They all deserve a fair go when it comes to employment. It’s hard to be responsible for another human and therefore the workplace should be sensitive to the employee. If an employee feels like their workplace is flexible they will perform better at work.
Benefits of diversity
Humans are diverse! Celebrate and embrace it – don’t run from it. It wasn’t that long ago that Aboriginals were not considered human and women were not allowed to vote. No one wants to apply for a job and have second thoughts about if they will be employed because they feel different. We are all different when you think about it.
Diversity plan and implementation
Set aside some time to go at your workplace to implement a diversity and inclusion plan. Diversity plan should include all the topics discussed in this article. Diversity is the key to harmony.