Diversity & Inclusion

March 3, 2023
Amanda Oliveira

Inclusion and diversity are related ideas that describe the atmosphere that enables distinct individuals to work together as equal contributors. When diversity and inclusion initiatives are prioritized at work, workplaces become safer, happier, and more productive.  

Equitable employers outperform their competitors by valuing each team member’s individual needs, viewpoints, and capabilities. As a result, people who work in diverse and inclusive environments have more loyalty and trust towards their employers.

Diversity Definition

Diversity includes all of the characteristics that distinguish people from one another, such as gender, race, age, and so on.

Diversity in the workplace refers to the presence of workers of different races, gender, professional backgrounds, skills, and other characteristics. Diversity has increased productivity, tolerance, and openness in communities and organizations.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the United States enforces rules to defend employees in the workplace based on specified social categories that frequently experience discrimination in American society. The following non-discrimination statement and policy are examples of how these social categories are commonly defined:

“The United States Government does not discriminate in employment based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or another non-merit factor.”

These broad categories can aid businesses in identifying gaps in diversity. They offer quantifiable criteria businesses may use to create objectives and concerted efforts to increase workplace diversity. At the same time, there are undoubtedly more visible and invisible factors that distinguish people from one another other than those described by these statements.  

Inclusion Definition

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) describes inclusion as “the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.”

Giving everyone equal access to opportunities and resources is the practice of inclusion. Workplace inclusion initiatives give historically marginalized groups – such as those based on gender, color, or disabilities – a way to feel equal in the workplace.

Understanding and respect are the cornerstones of inclusion in the workplace. In order to create a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued, it is essential to ensure everyone’s ideas and opinions are heard and properly weighed.

Diversity vs. Inclusion

Diversity is the existence of distinctions within a particular context. For example, differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, and other factors might occur at work. Inclusion ensures that people have a sense of belonging and support in the organization.

In more practical terms, in a workplace, inclusion is the “how,” and diversity is the “what.” While inclusion focuses on efforts to make employees – with a variety of attributes – feel safe, happy, and valued, diversity focuses on workplace demographics, such as gender, ethnicity, age, professional background, etc.

Sumsion Business Law...

....creates an environment of diversity and inclusion. We have people from different cultures, ages, races, genders, and backgrounds, whose contributions are considered. Having an understanding and appreciation of people’s differences improves the quality of service that Sumsion Business Law provides for its clients.  

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