Did you know inclusion is different from diversity? While diversity defines countless populations, identities and social statuses, inclusion is the intentional act of engaging with a diverse group of people or communities. Long story short, having more women, people of color, or those of other cultures in your organization is a positive thing. Yet there’s an opportunity to take diversity a step further – and that next step is inclusion.
A diverse workforce provides many advantages to your company. It heightens awareness, helps you serve a broader customer base, and provides different perspectives for marketing products/service initiatives. Diversity increases creativity and job satisfaction. Nurturing a diverse and inclusive organizational culture doesn’t only cultivate a great space to create, but it produces more profit. The process begins with building a diverse and inclusive workforce where all voices are valued and heard. Let’s consider what that could look like in your organization:
- On-boarding – Are there processes in place for recruiting a diverse workforce? Think of ways that your recruiting and on-boarding engages and supports the success of each individual, embracing their differences and welcoming various points of view.
- Ongoing Support – Do all members of your team have equal access to opportunities within your organization? Consider building mentoring programs to support success and foster the sharing of diverse ideas. Perhaps a committee could be put in place to champion progressive and inclusive programs for team members.
- Get Intersectional –Intersectionality is a tool to improve access, opportunity and equality within the workforce. Look for opportunities to actively engage in diversity efforts by taking part in organizations that sponsor inclusive-related events and activities.
- Be Receptive – Throughout this process, you’ll encounter opportunities to receive varying points of view. Embrace those opportunities, accept feedback and listen to those around you.
- Grow – The journey towards diversity and inclusion offers an opportunity for new ideas, perspectives, and as I mentioned above, enhanced creativity in your workplace. While that can result in growth of your company, there are also added benefits. It can be a learning opportunity for you and your team members. If you don’t remember anything else from this journal entry take note of this, diversity exists everywhere, and diversity means many things, from gender, race and religion to socio-economic and cultural considerations. Take the diversity principles that you abide by at your job and apply them into your community and home.
Now that we’ve discussed some of the elements of diversity and inclusion, I’d like to take a moment to describe how these values can contribute to your marketing. After all, we are a creative firm here at Kolbeco, supporting our clients to be confident and shine in their industries through their marketing, online and public relations campaigns. So, Diary, let’s explore the marketing side of this discussion:
- Creativity – If you’re looking to generate more creative ideas to solve a problem, diversify your thinking! Bring in men and women from various departments with different educational backgrounds, and ideally, cultural lenses. These people will provide a wider range of knowledge and new suggestions to help build upon your company’s ideas.
- New perspective – Engaging with others from different backgrounds serves as a benefit to everyone in your office. Diversity in the workplace can help with companies that are receptive to reaching new markets and expanding new areas. If you’re a fast-paced business and realize the advantages of current trends, you may want to include younger people to take part of your training programs for a fresh perspective.
- Connect with new audiences – I think this one is pretty obvious. I mean, different people, different ideas and different connections can only lead you to a new market. Working with someone who views the world through a different lens can lead to new ways to address your communications needs. Customers in different cultures have different values, experiences and expectations. Diversity develops a mixture of communication methods to reach people in different groups present in the market. You can draft a plan or campaign directed at new groups. If that doesn’t work, collaborate with communities and individual leaders within target groups to start communication and develop relationships.
Inclusion is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, patience and perseverance to truly understand the needs and values of everyone you work with, and everyone you’re trying to reach through your marketing. Encourage receptivity, value diversity, and embrace inclusion.