On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Outlook Planet highlights how benefits of diversity and inclusion go beyond promoting social justice and equality to drive positive change in areas like sustainability
Diversity and inclusion have become two of the most significant words for companies. It recognises the value of creating a workplace that is welcoming to people of all backgrounds and identities. However, the benefits of diversity and inclusion go far beyond promoting social justice and equality. In fact, inclusive workplaces have been shown to drive positive change in a wide range of areas, including sustainability.
Building sustainable communities is a crucial aspect of creating a better future for all: One way to achieve this is by enabling collective growth that creates value for society. This can be done through a shared value approach, where business success is linked with social progress. At villages around our factory location, we work on providing relevant opportunities and empowering marginalised or vulnerable members of the community. This way we enable them to take ownership of their own development. This approach benefits communities and contributes to the long-term sustainability of the business.
Inclusive workplaces promote economic growth and long-term viability: By creating a culture of inclusion, organisations can attract and retain top talent from a wide range of backgrounds and identities. This can lead to increased creativity, innovation and productivity, which can drive economic growth and long-term viability. In addition, inclusive workplaces are more likely to have a positive reputation, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and profits. According to a McKinsey study, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
Encouraging women to return to work after maternity leave and providing incentives: This is beneficial for the company and for creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce. By promoting gender equality and supporting women employees, companies can create a more sustainable future for themselves and the wider community.
Organisations need to implement policies and practices that promote diversity and inclusion: This includes implementing diversity and inclusion training, diverse recruitment and hiring strategies, and mentorship and leadership development programmes that encourage the participation of people of diverse identities. It also requires a commitment from senior leadership to create an inclusive culture that values diversity and promotes equity and fairness.
Organisations need to measure and track their progress towards diversity and inclusion goals: This involves collecting data on the diversity of the workforce, tracking employee satisfaction and engagement and monitoring the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion initiatives. By measuring progress, organisations can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to improve their diversity and inclusion practices.
Building a better world through diversity and inclusion is crucial for accelerating positive change and protecting the planet for future generations. By creating an inclusive and equitable society, we can ensure that all individuals have equal access to opportunities and resources regardless of their background. By embracing diversity and fostering inclusion, we can promote innovation, creativity, and collaboration, which are all essential for driving positive change.
(Ashwini Deodeshmukh, Head CSR & Sustainability, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.)