Diversity and Inclusion in 2020 – What needs to be done

Diversity and Inclusion has been an ideology and a conversation that has increased in momentum over the past couple of years. So what is it, why is it so important to a company's culture and what are other companies doing to promote it within their workplace?

Inclusion and diversity in NZ business - Blog - Virtue Consulting

‘A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone

Although we have heard a lot about Diversity and Inclusion over the last few years, there is still a lot to be done. We can visually see an increased number of companies promoting these values in their work places, on their websites and physically within their offices, with some even releasing D&I strategies. But, how do we incorporate this initiative within our day to da? And integrate D&I at ground level without too much disruption or cost to your business?

What does inclusion and diversity look like?

A diverse workforce should includes people with different characteristics. These may include

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Race,
  • Ethnicity,
  • Cultural background,
  • Sexual orientation
  • Education and
  • Ability

And inclusion ensures that these diverse groups all feel equal, respected and heard.

Why is Diversity & Inclusion Important within the NZ workplace?

First of all it’s about fairness and employing the right person for the job with no unconscious bias. Secondly, a fair workplace should mirror a country’s changing landscape with people, cultures, ethnicities and interests.

In business terms, it’s also a phenomenon that’s proving lucrative for the bottom line; giving companies a competitive edge. In turn, helping them attract the top talent, clients and customers alike.

“Your diversity enhances your performance. Your inclusive culture boosts morale and engagement for all your employees with benefits to productivity and lower staff turnover.” Diversityworks.org

How do we start ensuring we are a Diverse & Inclusive Employer?

  1. Promote diversity and inclusion within your current team and workplace.

An easy way to start promoting D & I is to make it interesting, social and interactive. These are some easy days/weeks you could start to incorporate into your social calendar.

  • Chinese (Lunar) New Year
  • ANZAC Day (April)
  • Matariki and Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
  • Eid al-Fitr (May)
  • Gay Pride (Feb)
  • NZ Sign Language Week (May)
  • Chinese Language Week
  • Maori Language Week (September)
  • Disability Pride Week (TBC)
  • Diwali (November)
  • Christmas
2. Change Your Recruitment Strategies

At Virtue we send our clients a monthly ‘Virtue Connect’. An email showcasing some of our most interesting and exciting candidates. Within this email we remove any kind of unconscious bias. We change the name, the gender, tells of where they’re from, their age or nationality. It’s a simple initiative to remind ourselves and our clients about unconscious bias.

Whether you use a recruitment consultant or recruit internally, it is important to have an open discussion about what and who you are looking for and ensuring the the idea of Diversity and Inclusion is a the forefront of the discussion. This could even include adding a blurb within your job advert….

” At (business name) we value diversity and inclusion. We actively encourage a workplace that is made up of different voices, backgrounds and values to ensure our continued success within the market.  After all, a diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”

Diversity is not the end goal, but it is a means to a more inclusive, more just, and more effective workplace.

In the end, if you make small constant changes to work towards a workplace that is both diverse and inclusive, you are making positive changes and that is progress. And progress in good.