Diversity, inclusion and culture change
Updated: Feb 22
Why Diversity & Inclusion matters even more today than you may think…
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is more than equality, it is embracing each person’s unique view on the world, not despite their background, but because of it. Multiple studies have shown that diverse and inclusive organizations excel at innovation, productivity and market outreach.
When there is no space for different ideas, people will either actively pursue opportunities elsewhere or stick around disengaged. The founder of Zoom, Eric Yuan, is one great example. Working at WebEx, the company was acquired by Cisco in 2007. Customer feedback was not all that positive in the next four years. Only after realizing that he needed to start his own company to realize his vision, Eric created Zoom in 2011. A lost opportunity for Cisco!
However, looking at D&I from a business case perspective is just the beginning.
To realize a meaningful change D&I needs to be embraced based on a moral duty driven by organizations, individuals and the society at large. D&I is about welcoming different opinions and beliefs, providing a safe space for all variations of human identity, and breeding the ground to create the unimaginable.
The question that we are posing to ourselves at InspiringPeople is what this means to the cultural ecosystems of organizations. In essence, culture is a manifestation of collective norms and beliefs, of what is encouraged and discouraged, accepted or rejected within the group.
We may create a diverse and represented workforce, but how can we cultivate the culture of empathy, equity, and inclusion in the office? Big, systemic changes are the first steps of extreme importance. And when it comes to changing the actual cultures, at InpiringPeople we believe that starting big shifts of behaviour starts with small impulses. These impulses are small behaviours that people can change in real-time, day-to-day. Making inclusion a daily habit, transforming micro-cultures eventually adds up to transformation.
What do you do to welcome people with different backgrounds and viewpoints?