Friday, March 26, 2021

Diversity & Inclusion

In this rapidly changing corporate culture, diversity, equity and inclusivity are becoming the most sought-after values. While we all understand why diversity is required and its benefits to the company, statistics show that most of the companies do not have enough diversity. Diversity in the workplace results in new ideas, innovations, and better profitability.

 As per Boston Consulting, among Fortune 500 companies, only 24 are women. Same study indicates there are only three black and three gay and lesbian CEOs among 500 CEOs.

 Look around you, does your company appreciate and honor multiple cultural and religious practices? Does your company harbor bias or prejudices? Today most employees are looking for an inclusive and diverse workplace that benefits the company. An equal opportunity company is what all employees look for. But how do we achieve this? And, before changing the ideology on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion values in company, First let us ask ourselves, being a woman,  are women uniquely poised to excel at each role given to her?

 I don’t think women are so different from men that they are better or worse for the job in terms of traits or skill sets. I think we must look at people individually and see what he or she brings to the table in terms of assets. Women for the senior leadership role should have a right blend of personality traits, skills, and understanding of compliance regulations and concepts.

As we adapted to COVID-19 new normal and I reflect on the lessons learned, my biggest takeaway was the need to improve our planning. A global viral pandemic was an emerging threat that had been recognized for years. While we continue to manage the consequences of the pandemic, we must also find the discipline to start preparing for future threats. I’m challenging myself to improve our readiness for the next big disruption. By being ready for the next crisis, I mean being organizationally ready in every way: financially, operationally and culturally.

I recommend four critical behaviors to support our new, contemporary culture. We need to develop a deeper understanding and incorporate these behaviors into our work habits. These behaviors strengthen and improve the best part of our culture and ourselves. We are calling these behaviors as our Ways of Working forward:

  • Learn and adapt
  • Collaborate and share openly
  • Honor commitments
  • Respect and value others

By doing this an organization thinking about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will be challenged and reformed significantly. Although I am proud of our culture and what I have achieved together so far in this journey, but there is more work we can do to drive greater long-term success for our organization. let’s practice our new Ways of Working in supporting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion values and hold each other accountable and transform our organization from “good to great.”

We must foster a culture where every voice is heard and there are no favorites. It is also crucial that there is no gender pay disparity and companies must be transparent about it to foster the employee's trust. People from different backgrounds and generations have very different perspectives. So, embrace these different thinking patterns and you will see new ideas and innovations. Diversity and inclusivity are not about checking some boxes but about creating a culture that inspires diversity and inclusivity.