“Link between diversity and company financial performance.” That was the welcome headline finding from McKinsey’s ‘Delivering through Diversity’ report in 2018. Yet today we know diversity in the workplace isn’t the sole key to success. For that, leaders must also foster a psychologically safe culture where everyone feels they belong.Contact us to see how this all adds up >
What does ED&I mean?
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) means creating a culture that celebrates difference, and values everyone’s contributions.
ED&I means diversifying who you employ and work with and, thereafter, thinking about how you treat and develop them.
Enlightened organisations know the path to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is a never-ending journey.
Organisational diversity is the varied makeup of a workforce – its composition, encompassing factors like ethnicity, gender, and age.
Leading organisations want their workforce to reflect the diverse communities they serve. Recognising diversity can bring alternative perspectives to help solve today’s challenges, businesses adopt hiring practices to diversify their workforce.
The single biggest mistake an organisation can make is to equate diversity with inclusion. They’re not the same. Think of it this way:
“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion being asked to dance.”
But workplace inclusion goes beyond representation. It’s anchored in the daily actions that determine if individuals feel part of an organisation.
You might have a diverse workforce, but without inclusion, you’ll stifle potential.
Diversity flounders when:
- employees don’t feel safe to speak up,
- exclusionary behaviours dominate, or
- a culture of belonging is absent.
Inclusivity thrives under empathetic leaders who:
- look beyond diversity labels,
- strive to understand their own privileges, beliefs, and biases, and
- use their self-awareness to better understand and connect with others.
Only then can leaders truly engage, involve, and champion the rich diversity of their teams.
If diversity and inclusion are the ‘what’, then equity shapes the ‘how’. At its core, equity is about allocating resources to meet individual needs. Equity then, is pivotal to creating a diverse and inclusive organisation.
But how does Equity differ from Equality?
While some muddle the two, they have distinct meanings:
- Equality provides everyone with the same resources/opportunities.
- Equity distributes resources/opportunities to achieve a fairer and more inclusive work environment.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s no doubt why, our Big Picture approach, blending imagery with storytelling, resonates with leaders.
Although the following image isn’t ours; it brilliantly depicts the contrast between Equality and Equity.
There are three boxes in both scenes. But it’s only by distributing the boxes equitably that everyone feels included.
Why is ED&I essential for business?
Long story short, ED&I is both the right thing to do and a strategic win.
It’s good for people, boosts performance, and enhances productivity.
When colleagues feel valued and treated fairly, their engagement and productivity soar, helping them realise their full potential.
By championing an equitable and inclusive workplace, leaders standout, bolstering their organisation’s reputation. The ripple effects?
- Attracting top talent.
- Elevating the employee experience so colleagues give their best.
- Retaining the best talent.
“Leaders and line managers aren’t only responsible for getting things done, but also for the people that make things happen. In stressful times, such as economic downturn, our innate behaviours surface. It’s precisely in these moments that leaders must show compassion, empathy, and courage – to become consciously inclusive.”
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion training, coaching, consultancy and content that…
…builds a culture of psychological safety and belonging.
Our seasoned experts craft and deliver all our ED&I training, leadership coaching, consultancy, and content.
- Do your leaders foster a space where they can listen to everyone’s voice?
- Have you noticed leaders who claim to be inclusive but act otherwise?
- Are all colleagues comfortable being themselves, sharing ideas and concerns?
- Is there a risk your ED&I efforts might unintentionally stifle someone’s sense of belonging because they are the only one?
Axiom’s wide range of ED&I services help you nurture a culture where everyone feels they belong. This not only boosts your reputation, but also enhances employee experience, and productivity.
Consultancy. Partner with our consultants to set your ED&I direction and vision.
Perhaps you’re unsure of the experiences and issues facing your colleagues? Our complete inclusion diagnostic provides strong insights to inform your approach.
Or maybe you’re new to a role with ED&I responsibilities? Our consultants can provide the guidance and confidence you need to hit the ground running.
Workshops. Dive into the fundamentals of inclusive practices. Customisable, interactive, workshops can cover discrete areas of ED&I such as:
- Creating psychologically safe environments
- Unconscious bias
- Protected characteristics
- Structural privilege
- Emotional intelligence
- Inclusive language that avoids triggering
- Exclusionary and unacceptable behaviours
- Mental health
Accommodating up to 10 people, participants leave our training programmes with tips, tools, and techniques for practical application.
Coaching. Every leader starts their ED&I journey from a different place. Their beliefs, self-awareness, and expeirences all shape that starting point.
Many hesitate, fearing mistakes. Our inclusive coaching provides a safe space for candid conversations, bridging knowledge gaps and boosting confidence.
Tailored to individual needs, our ED&I coaching is part of our leadership coaching for leaders.
Content. Shifting culture on inclusion requires a step-change in how you engage and communicate.
Need to evolve your existing training and development materials? We have plenty at our fingertips that you can personalise and brand to share with your people.
Want to share personal stories of inclusion or exclusion from your workforce? Our professional communicators, experienced in global companies, craft compelling, relatable narratives.
All our offerings ensure no one feels sidelined, be they in the minority or majority.
Ready to unlock the full potential of ED&I in your organisation? Contact us today
You may also be interested in: