What Is Inclusion?
Inclusion is a broad subject and is a term that trips of the tongue of many. However, people have different understandings of what the word means. Many use the word inclusion as an interchangeable one with diversity, or even equality. At Inclusive Employers, we focus on workplace inclusion. For us, inclusion is an overarching culture that encompasses diversity and equality and many other aspects of our working lives.
Focusing on inclusion does not mean that we don’t need to think, talk or take action on diversity and equality. It would be naïve to think that by focusing on inclusion we automatically mitigate the inequalities that exist in the workplace. With inclusion as our objective it means that we are much more likely to see greater diversity of our workforces and greater equality of opportunities as outcomes.
How can we clearly understand the differences between Equality, Diversity and Inclusion?
Equality is about the fair treatment of everyone and often linked to the legislative framework in the UK, The Equality Act 2010.
Diversity is the mix of people.
Inclusion is the culture in which the mix of people can come to work, feel comfortable and confident to be themselves, work in a way that suits them and delivers your business needs. Inclusion will ensure that everyone feels valued and importantly, adds value.
The Power of Inclusion
Feeling including is a key aspect of human life. Many of us can recall a sense of exclusion: moments when we felt left out; other; different; that we weren’t welcome or we weren’t appreciated. Inclusion is the reverse: making people feel welcome; ensuring that it is safe for them to express who they choose to be; demonstrating our appreciation for their input; working collaboratively and showing we care.
Why Does Inclusion Matter in the Workplace?
All evidence proves that organisations focused on building a more inclusive culture attract and retain a wider diversity of talent. The inclusive culture then empowers diverse talent to think differently and share their experiences and perspectives, which in turn is a key driver for innovation, development and engagement.
Inclusive cultures enable our colleagues to do things differently, working in ways that suit them, flex working patterns to ensure their life-work balance is healthy and that they are able to deliver their best for their organisation.
This focus on inclusion will equip our colleagues to make a difference, to their wellbeing and to the success of our organisations.
The world is changing and inclusion is an imperative to future proof our businesses. Visit our Membership page to find out more about joining us to future proof your organisation.