D&I Transformation: what is it and why should leaders care?

How leaders can guide  their organizations to meaningful change and create more diverse and inclusive workplaces.

D&I transformation is among the top priorities for Human Resources professionals this year, and it is not just a buzzword.

But first things first, what is D&I?

So, “D” stands for Diversity, and “I” stands for Inclusion. These two, powerful words together can make or break (the lack of them) your organization’s cultural transformational journey.

While most people refer to workplace diversity as a work environment that is balanced by race and gender, diversity can exist across multiple variables, including age, sexuality, physical ability, location, different beliefs,  and many more.

Is it enough for an organization to just be diverse?

No, and this is where the second term, inclusion, comes in. Inclusion in the workplace means employees genuinely feel like they are accepted, their voices are heard, and that they truly belong.
Diversity is an organizational value established to leverage the power of differences for exceptional performance, and inclusion is an employee-supportive workplace where all employees experience equitable opportunities for personal success and contribution to the organization’s success. Sounds about right, right? This is how workplaces should be.

But what’s really happening in the global workspace market?

When it comes to diversity, a recent McKinsey study shows COVID-19 has exacerbated the already uneven work equity gaps. Women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs, while women make up 39% of global employment but account for 54% of overall job losses.

In order for an organization to thrive and be competitive, investing in its cultural transformation is the only way to move forward. In fact, organizations identified as more diverse and inclusive are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors, a study reveals.

Having a diverse workforce also increases creativity and boosts innovation. Different cultural backgrounds, skill sets, and experience levels translate into employees being more likely to have varied approaches to the same problems, leading to innovative ideas and solutions.

When people also feel supported and heard at their work, then great things can happen. They collaborate better, they are more satisfied and according to a recent Harvard Business Review research, they can solve problems faster.

Looking at the business impact, diverse and inclusive teams are increasing the organization’s productivity levels, helping make more informed decisions thus achieving their performance goals and profitability.

Implementing D&I initiatives

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic had brought a lot of disruptions in the workplace and organizations are forced to effectively manage these challenges and also stay competitive.

While leading businesses across the world have already started rethinking their organizational model to design a more diverse and inclusive workplace, there are still a lot of companies that are struggling.

Of the HR professionals we have talked with, most agree that the most difficult part is the first stage of the transformation process; identifying their fundamental issues and understanding what needs to be changed.

Achieving greater diversity and inclusion requires effort and needs the right resources in place. However, the benefits that D&I initiatives are bringing into organizations outweigh any difficulties in the transformation process.

As a diverse and inclusive workplace is more likely to better address key challenges and help resolve issues that involve people, performance, and profitability.

There are D&I training programs available in the market for small and medium sized companies as well as for big organizations.

At Humanis, we are proud to have been recognized among the top 10 Diversity & Inclusion service providers in Europe by Manage HR.

“We are really proud of this recognition. We have worked hard with our partners at Innovations International to promote this D&I program in the Greek & European markets. This is a leadership tool to help change personal and collective mindsets and achieve organizational transformation,” says Christy Paleocrassas,  Communications Manager at Humanis.

“In today’s ultra-connected and highly dynamic world, helping companies become diverse and inclusive by transforming their organizational culture is what will take them one step closer to becoming high-performing organizations,” she adds.

Ready to start creating a more diverse and inclusive work environment for your organization? Contact us today!

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