Having a diverse workforce is vital to businesses, current employees, and potential employees. A key component to diversity in the workplace is inclusion. This is often why we use the terms “diversity” and “inclusion” together.
Recently, I spoke with a white female employee who bravely shared that she was excluded from her (small) company’s conversations on race and had no input on the company’s proposed statement publicly condemning racism. She said, “Nirupa, don’t my opinions matter to this company, though I am not a person of color?” I said, “Of course your opinions matter.” Subsequently, I learned that other employees at this same company were also feeling left out of such important conversations. This company has several employees who are minorities. For their internal conversations on race, the leadership only chose to engage one employee who is a minority.
While many businesses are focused on making their workplaces more diverse, which is much needed, companies also need to simultaneous ensure that their workplace is an inclusive one. An inclusive workplace is a space where a business makes ALL employees feel welcomed, valued, and accepted, and are free to share their opinions.
In the United States, we spend most of our time working, whether at a physical location or remote one. Wouldn’t you rather work for a company that allows you to freely share your thoughts, no matter your race, ethnicity, gender, education, ability, religion, immigration status, etc.?