Beyond diversity: The business case for developing an internal culture of inclusion


Philip Dundas

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are on the agenda for most organisations in terms of recruiting a broad talent base. But it is increasingly recognised that the diverse and inclusive perspective you get from that workforce can enrich the internal DNA of a company. This helps to shape its strategic goals beyond the thinking of senior leadership across the whole organisation. In the global marketplace the most innovative companies recognise that to impact on their strategic goals, diversity isn’t just about the range of people within an organisation but the diversity of thinking that reflects.

Equally important as an organisation is how inclusion connects to diversity: your ability to reflect the world around you in your workforce is just the start. The 2014 Deloitte report Global Human Capital Trends, clearly defines ‘diversity of thinking as a business imperative’. Diverse teams draw out better ideas, smarter conversations and ultimately better business decisions.

Lots of organisations have identified inclusion as a bedrock of innovation and to that extent drive and foster the diversity and inclusion agenda across their sectors, seeing how it can shape and transform their organisations and their people. It’s not always in the most obvious places that D&I shapes the way businesses function. Well-managed and effectively implemented D&I policies emerge through a much wider range of issues; from how to adapt the built environment for workability and getting the most from a cross-generational workforce to understanding the implications of working globally and the importance of inclusive leadership.

The benefits of D&I go way beyond compliance into every aspect of a business. From senior leadership right down to graduate entry employees, an inclusive organisation relies on the diversity of thinking from an ever inclusive workforce to be ahead of the game.