An engineer is as much a creative as an artist, just as an architect is as much a creative as a writer. However, it is when creatives from different disciplines collaborate that we see ideas manifest. Engagement from a broad spectrum of thinkers gives your business a competitive edge, as diversity equates to versatility, vivacity and validity. Business diversity can be measured in a plethora of ways, whether that’s through one’s career path, gender, nationality, education level, age or industry. Research suggests that diversity in the workplace drives innovation and conversely, innovation drives diversity.
Carolina Blanco spent the morning enlightening the Opinno team on the significance of diversity in the workplace. Blanco is a social worker and technician in social integration, and her experience shined through as she discussed how to manage and encourage diversity in the workplace. In a globalizing world where minorities are becoming the majority, diversity is a key element to a business's success. Blanco expanded on how diversity has lasting effects. Internally, business diversity influences organization and company culture, which impacts dedication and productivity. Externally, business diversity influences client and community relations.
Diversity in the workplace, however, goes further than just influencing an open-minded and well-rounded company culture, by in fact providing financial gains. Evidently, Forbes’ Best Workplaces for Diversity enjoy a 24% increase in year-over-year revenue growth. In this analysis, Forbes considered things like, does being a diverse employee affect the extent to which they are supported by their organizations? Further, do diverse employees have access to information and leaders, and do they sincerely feel included in the team?
As is demonstrated by the study, diverse people in the workplace need to feel welcomed and respected, which relates to Carolina Blanco’s dialogue on inclusive language and diversity management. Blanco emphasized that to ensure cohesive internal organization and external business outcomes, it’s imperative that each employee feels valued equally. This value should be woven into a company’s organization and made aware to all employees. When this model is integrated into the identity of the company, diverse people in the workplace will truly feel recognized and accepted.
Language is one of our most crucial means of communication as humans, which is why Carolina Blanco dedicated time to outlining inclusive language in the workplace. Of course, we are human, and don’t need to overthink every word. However, if being aware of one’s language will make the people around you more comfortable, why not get informed on ways to achieve that? Avoiding the words, “guys” for example, in a work setting, will promote gender neutral language. It was also made clear that phrases indicating victimhood should be avoided, especially when speaking about physical and mental disabilities. Making these simple notes in your head will make for an inclusive working environment with top-tier communication practices.
Janet Stovall’s Ted Talk on “How to Get Serious About Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace” is reflective of Oppino’s morning workshop on diversity in the workplace. Stovall paints an idyllic picture in our minds that Opinno strives to embody by saying, “Imagine this: Imagine a place where people of all colors and all races are on and climbing every rung of the corporate ladder; where those people feel safe -- indeed, expected -- to bring their unassimilated, authentic selves to work everyday, because the difference that they bring is both recognized and respected. And imagine a place where the lessons we learn about diversity at work actually transform the things we do, think, and say outside of work.”