Diversity and Inclusion is a growing concept that many businesses – from SMEs to MNCs – all around the world are grappling to understand and implement into their workplace. But what exactly does D&I entail and why is it becoming so important for businesses and employees?

Social inequality has long been a complex global problem and to this day, stakeholders from individuals to governments and businesses are working towards resolving the unfair distribution of opportunities due to individual differences. In the business world, this means accepting, hiring and including employees of all ethnicities, cultures, sexualities and with physical or mental disabilities.

Harmonious workplace culture has always been an integral aspect to business success and D&I is evolving into a necessary addition to all internal workplace procedures. In Australia, D&I mostly consists of diverse cultural recognition and free expression of sexuality, through employee programs and services.

While difficult to implement and even harder to enforce, D&I has become vital to businesses and employees because of a couple of reasons:

Employee Engagement:
A company which stands for cultural, ethnical, sexual and more types of diversity and protects the freedoms and social rights of its employees is bound to earn the favour of its workers. Not only do employees feel safe to express themselves at work, but they also learn to accept the different circumstances of their peers.

Company Confidence:
With happy employees comes a happy and successful business. With workers feeling safe and appreciated at their workplace, productivity naturally increases and workflow also becomes smoother. Business operations automatically become more efficient and profitable, adding positively to the company’s image and confidence.

Attracting Potential Talent:
Similar to employee engagement, a harmonious and safe workplace will attract potential employees and talents. For example, if a company was to have a disability-inclusive program for its employees, disabled and capable talents are more likely to reach out and work with the business.

Currently, D&I is still a relatively new concept to businesses and it has been difficult for businesses to implement D&I strategies effectively considering there are not many earlier examples to follow. However, it is never too late to learn more about D&I and consider implementing the idea into your workplace culture.