The world of work may have changed forever. In this article, you will get to know why there is a pressing need to have diversity and inclusion woven into the workplace culture.

Overcoming unconscious bias is key to cultivating a workforce that thrives.

At a time of global unrest and upheaval, we need to come together and build the ‘future of work’, that we want!

Sounds like a task considering the volatile and chaotic environments that we work in? You bet it is!

But that should not be a blocker for us to push for an inclusive workforce where a diverse pool of talent is accepted, respected, and valued.

While I agree that the leadership teams should be at the forefront of building an inclusive and diverse workplace — I strongly believe that this requires all of us in an organization to be active allies to this strategy, both, collectively and individually.

Embracing diversity and inclusion act as the stepping stones to building a company that is profitable and evolutionary. Moreover, this move will also help in making the employee experience a priority in the workplace.

Investing in ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ (D&I) programs will help your business nurture an engaged and happier workforce.

The takeaway: Forbes reported that 70% of executives surveyed agreed that enhanced employee experience makes way for improved customer experience and eventually rapid revenue growth.

Why foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

This tweet by Larry Light, CEO at Arcature (Former CMO of McDonald’s), pretty much sums it up — diversity and inclusion are everyone’s job!

Building a company culture that’s rooted in workforce equity is paramount to survive and thrive in today’s competitive economy.

For all of us in the financial services industry, while we are dealing with complex issues brought on by the pandemic and break-neck competition — we need to ensure that our D&I initiatives do not take a backseat.

Creating a pool of diverse talent and giving ear to voices that stand for the entire spectrum of talent, brings benefits in every area of the business.

Let’s take a quick look at this:

  1. Retain top talent: As per recent reports, close to 82% of employees would be ready to leave their job for an employer who is more empathetic. The competition to hire the best talent is fierce today. A diverse and inclusive culture is what will help you attract and retain the finest talent in the industry.
  2. Better decision-making power: There’s nothing like bringing together a great mix of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to the table. This gives you different viewpoints that are key in making some of the tougher decisions.
  3. Loyal and innovative workforce: Inclusive companies are said to be 1.7 times more innovative. Studies show that organizations that prioritize diversity in the workplace and work towards creating an environment that is inclusive and encouraging — will have a loyal, dedicated, and innovative workforce.
  4. Improved performance, higher profitability: Inclusivity and diversity breed employee morale. Giving equal opportunities and recognition to your employees improves team performance by up to 30% and will, in turn, trickle down to increased revenue and business growth.

Cultivating a workforce with diversity and inclusion at the heart of it

“Diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice we make every day. As leaders, we have to put out the message that we embrace and not just tolerate diversity.”

This quote above by Nellie Borrero Managing Director – Senior Global Inclusion & Diversity Lead, Accenture, speaks volumes about the role of leadership in having these principles woven into everyday practice.

Leadership teams, it’s on you to be the advocate of change in your organization. You need to take on these initiatives by modeling diversity and inclusion in the workplace. You will need to lead by example and create a space that is welcoming to all.

Give equal voice to your employees and focus on empathy. The goal is to engage employees, give them an opportunity to grow, and make them feel included – this truly unlocks employee capabilities.

As leaders, we must stimulate a respectful exchange of breakthrough ideas and diverse thinking. You will then witness how diversity and inclusion form the bedrock of innovation within organizations.

Time to put diversity and inclusion into practice

We must visibly commit to eliminating any form of discrimination (be it overt or subtle) in the workplace.

Striving to build an inclusive culture with diverse talent will be a key enabler for growth; for businesses both big and small.

At Opus, we’re invested in fostering an inclusive and diverse culture at every level. We put people at the heart of everything we do and our D&I principles are the driving force behind our success.

For more such insights and updates from the financial services industry – follow me on LinkedIn.

T M Praveen is a highly accomplished global payments leader with over 20 years of experience. A veteran in the payments industry, Praveen has immense wealth of insights to share in payments innovations, emerging technologies, FinTech, and financial services.

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