From Inclusion to Belonging, the True Value of Diversity
Employers are often making the mistake of treating D&I as an outdated box-ticking exercise, even though these boxes can create more exclusion than inclusion. “Diversity data by itself is useless if these people are not happy in their work,” Asif Sadiq, Head of Diversity Inclusion & belonging at The Telegraph, explains. When a team is inclusive and people feel they can bring their authentic self to work, they will become innovative. Asif shares how we can address internal challenges and barriers to D&I:
- Attraction will be different for each individual so break it down by diversity group to understand the needs and barriers of each one.
- Change how you give opportunities. For groups affected by pay gap, present the average market pay and let them choose their figure.
- Ensure all people across your board understand why D&I matters and work with them to broaden your D&I and create a truly inclusive environment. The more you speak to leaders about it, and present them with key data, the more you will change mindsets.
- Support people who are underrepresented in all parts of business regardless of background of diversity characteristics. Consider less obvious avenues like neurodiversity.
- Simplify your work, processes and communication around D&I to make the messages clear for everyone within the business.
- Diverse teams, under inclusive management, perform better. Inclusive leaders seek, value and leverage different perspectives.
- An inclusive workplace, built on a sense of belonging, creates productivity and proactivity, which in turn drive authenticity and retention.
Stop viewing D&I as a box-ticking exercise and start treating people as individuals – they have more than one characteristic that is important to them. Show a genuine need to make a difference as a business through D&I. If you have true inclusion that’s where belonging starts.