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Diversity and inclusion are the new buzz-words in Human Resource Management these days.
So what does diversity mean? Diversity as a word means difference or variety. In the workplace, it signifies different types of individuals working in harmony to achieve common goals. There are many aspects of diversity in the Pakistani workplace such as gender, ethnic origins, religions, disability, age and social status. Apart from these superficial differences there are deep level variances in knowledge and cultural values that people can bring in the mix of an organisation.
Inclusion refers to the policies that an organisation adopts to facilitate individuals from different backgrounds to assimilate and integrate well into the organisation.
It is obvious that diversity and inclusion in recruitment and overall management represents fairness and equal opportunity by the company. Also, it shows an organisation’s contribution in combating prejudice and inequality in the society. In addition, there are some concrete advantages on the business end:
There is a wider talent pool to choose from as applicants are invited from a wider variety of areas, groups with differing backgrounds. Individuals coming in from various backgrounds and life experiences bring their unique perspectives. This promotes creative problem- solving and creates a possible competitive edge.
An organisation that takes practical steps to remove biases and tries to include previously overlooked or underrepresented social groups improves its reputation.
A diverse customer service team improves the understanding and response to a wider demographic of customers, their needs and fosters better connections.
Diversity contributes to employee flexibility and responsiveness to various markets. This encourages globalisation, expansion or deepening local presence.
When individuals with differences are brought together, given respect and opportunities to contribute, this leads to greater synergy. The result is a rich and robust corporate culture.
Companies known to observe diversity and inclusion are considered great career prospects by job seekers. New joiners feel welcomed and a sense of belonging.
To incorporate diversity and inclusion initiative in the organisation, strategic changes have to be made in the overall running of business. Some areas that will require a rethink include: