Diversity and Inclusion: A step of acceptance toward the blurring barriers

Enterprises, whether they are entering the digital era or have already established a stronghold on it, are keen to develop and project a global persona. The factors integral in determining talent selection in organizations have evolved. A global workforce that is diverse in backgrounds, identities, and thoughts is imperative to stay relevant and grow.

Being a nation constituted by vibrant cultures, India has diversity infused in its DNA. For companies based or operating here, it is essential to consider these diverse sensibilities and create an inclusive workforce that thrives on the strength of uniqueness and promotes fair treatment. A survey carried out among 250 organizations in India revealed that 52% of businesses used the percentage of female employees by management level and employees’ perception of inclusion as the measurement for gender diversity and inclusion. The awareness regarding diversity and inclusion in India is steadily increasing with dedicated industry and organization-agnostic forums. These forums are driving extensive efforts to educate organizations and decision-makers on the concept and applicability of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&), especially in the Indian context.

On a global level, the digital revolution has introduced unprecedented awareness among the masses. The difference in backgrounds and beliefs no longer comes across as a hindrance. People nowadays understand the value of uniting for a common cause and creating a global impact. As businesses expand their footprints, considering the importance of developing a global appeal does not remain optional. Building a culture that exudes a sense of trust and belonging has become a strategic and branding priority for CXOs worldwide. They have begun to realize that the effect of a robust DE&I framework is not only cultural. Carefully crafted DE&I initiatives can lend a global touch to organizations, create a favorable brand tone with analyst and research firms and augment their overall business outcomes with superior creative and resolution capabilities.

Talking of a global persona for businesses, attracting talent from various segments of society requires solid groundwork. They should be aware of the criticality and proportions of representation and community-specific expectations. According to a leading analyst and advisory firm research that highlights the employment preferences of the LGBTQ community, 1.27x prefer positions that offer a work-life balance. To eliminate bias and retain talent, HR leaders should regularly assess their DE&I policies and make necessary amendments to advance the underrepresented sections.
There is still a lot to be covered by organizations regarding their DE&I structures. Adopting a human-centric approach is crucial for them to create an atmosphere of trust. Besides hiring different, businesses need to undertake differentiating initiatives that strengthen awareness, demonstrate the scope for representation and significant contribution, enable active listening and reflect growth opportunities.

For example, a mid-tier IT Company, Hexaware Technologies, maintains a clear focus on serving global enterprises with a diverse and inclusive workforce that collaborates to tackle complex business problems by leveraging their unique life experiences. To maintain this vibrant, high-performance culture, Hexaware actively promotes gender equality and has approximately 31% of women in the company, of which 13% are in leadership positions. The Company collects additional DE&I data on its employees’ different identities and backgrounds on a voluntary and anonymous basis to have a more insightful understanding of its diverse workforce.

To realize DE&I objectives effectively, organizations need to develop a comprehensive strategy for evaluating policies and processes. Provisions for bias training, inclusive leadership workshops, cross-cultural understanding, and female leadership programs should be made to ensure sustainable business growth while maintaining a human and compassionate core.