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 “diversity” and “inclusion” together.
Recently, I spoke with a white female employee, who bravely shared that her (small) company excluded her from race conversations. They also did not give her any input on their 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.” I then learned that other employees at this company also felt left out of such important conversations. This company has several employees who are minorities. Yet, the leadership only chose to engage one employee, who is a minority, for their conversations on race.
Many businesses are focused on making their workplaces more diverse, which we all applaud. Companies also need to simultaneously ensure that their workplace is an inclusive one. An inclusive workplace is a space where businesses make ALL employees feel welcomed, valued, and accepted, and 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.?