The Ethical and Strategic Factor of Diversity & Inclusion ManagementAmbire_valerio
Organizational culture is the essence of an enterprise. It could be said, in a nutshell, that culture equals personality. A company’s personality refers to a set of behaviors, values and relationships that characterize the organization itself, internally and externally.
The elements that belong to an organization’s culture are various, such as corporate mission and vision, work environment, values, work ethics, future expectations and goals. Of course, each company is a world unto itself and, as a result, each company is unique as a whole; for example, some companies have a team-based culture, with employee participation at all levels, while others have more traditional and formal management.
But there is one inescapable factor that unites all businesses around the world:human resources. People are the heart of every organization, the key element of its corporate culture as they share its values, ethics, mission and common goals.
Each person, just like each company, is a complex set of values, thoughts, and characteristics that identify them as such and differentiate them from others.
In recent times, there has been a realization of the strategic importance attached to the diversity (or better yet, uniqueness) of each person: in the late 1980s, the Workforce 2000 report was published to delve into emerging trends in the U.S. population as the 21st century approached.
The focus shifted to the fact that if the United States was to continue to prosper, several actions would be needed, including: making the workforce dynamic; reconciling the conflicting needs of women, work and families; and fully integrating workers of different ethnicities.
Thus was born the theme of Diversity Management, later implementing the importance of themes such as inclusion, equality and belonging: fundamentally important concepts increasingly assimilated within the organizational culture of companies.
Today,the ability to include diversity represents for companies, not only an ethical issue, but also a competitive and strategic lever.
Creating an environment in which all staff feel comfortable and can express themselves, thus their diversity-uniqueness, implies that people are subjected to less stress and work better. Diversity & Inclusion Management, in fact, refers to that set of practices and policies aimed at valuing diversity in its multiple meanings within a work environment; thus age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origins, culture, physical and cognitive abilities.
An organization that puts this into practice, in the right way, can be identified as one that is ethical, flexible, diverse, and contributes to innovation and change.
More and more people are very attentive to this issue and, as a result, are orienting their consumption towards inclusive companies, so innovating in terms of Diversity & Inclusion brings strongly impacting benefits also on one’s business, improving, in parallel, Corporate Welfare and Brand Image.
Confirmation comes from a number of reports, including one presented by Istat and UNAR that sets out the main results of an in-depth study of Diversity Management measures for LGBT+ diversity that have been implemented by companies with at least 50 employees in industry and services.
As early as 2019, it was estimated that more than one-fifth of companies (20.7 percent, or more than 5,700 units) had adopted at least one measure that was not required by law with the aim of managing and valuing diversity among workers related to gender, age, citizenship, nationality and/or ethnicity, religious beliefs or disability. The implementation of such measures involved 34 percent of large companies (with at least 500 employees), compared with 19.8 percent of smaller companies (50-499 employees).
These measures include: training events aimed at top management and workers on LGBT+ diversity issues; initiatives to promote a culture of inclusion and enhancement of LGBT+ diversity; ad hoc measures for transgender workers; and leave, benefits and other specific measures for LGBT+ workers.
Managing diversity in companies is a challenge that opens up many opportunities, although there is still a widespread tendency not to address the topic problematically and resolutely, at least in Italy.
The fact that there is still a lot of work to be done was confirmed by the Covid-19 emergence, which made it clear that some of the progress of the last decades, considered significant, was in fact not very comforting steps forward: in this regard, it is evident how, speaking of gender equality, a period of uncertainty and unclear perspectives has disadvantaged women, relegating them to dealing even more with home and family to the detriment of any work ambitions (we suggest reading our article on the topic https://www.ambire.net/gender-gap-un-punto-della-situazione/ to get an overview of the situation).
Ambire SB contributes to the innovation and dissemination of an organizational, managerial and individual culture that fosters more and better opportunities for professional employment, orientation to young people in the labor market, valuing and including diversity, , People’s work-life balance and increasing the employment rate, generating sustainable impact throughSDGs 4,5 and 8 that guide it, promoting an inclusive work environment that is constantly open to inclusion.