People are not alike. Everyone is different. Diversity is recognising and valuing the attributes and experiences that make us unique as individuals. Diversity attributes include both visible and non-visible factors including personal characteristics such as background, education, culture, personality and work style. It also harnesses the attributes that are protected under discrimination legislation – gender, ethnicity, age, physical ability, mental impairment, sexual orientation and religion/belief.
With demographic factors such as increased immigration from an enlarged EU and an ageing population the workforce in the UK is increasingly diverse.
There is a strong business case for organisations to embrace diversity beyond what is mandated by legislation and government targets. Organisations that embed diversity in their working cultures enhance their market competitiveness and enjoy the following benefits:
An inclusive workforce that values diversity enhances staff motivation this reduces absenteeism and improves productivity
As markets become increasingly global and diverse organisations benefit by having a work force that is representative of its customers
A diverse workforce brings new ideas enabling organisations to discover untapped market opportunities
Organisations with an open and inclusive workplace culture in which everyone feels valued helps to recruit and retain the best talent
Enhanced profile, image and reputation amongst under-represented stakeholders and groups in the wider community attracts and retains both customers and employees