What Does Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Mean in the Workplace?
According to the International Labour Organization, “Companies with more inclusive business cultures and policies see a 59% increase in innovation and 37% better assessment of consumer interest and demand.” To address the evolving changes in the working environment, organisations have made it a priority to maintain a company culture that welcomes a variety of individuals with a range of distinct characteristics.
In terms of talent acquisition, this opens up more opportunities to attract and retain candidates from various sectors of society who can contribute to the company’s development with their skill, expertise, perspectives, and experience. As a result, it is now common practice for most organisations to establish policies and implement programs under what is known as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
Having DEI policies in the workplace encourages the representation and active participation of various groups of people regardless of what makes them different from each other. To clarify, each term is distinctly defined and reflects particular aspects that the company supports.
When it comes to diversity, it isn’t simply about the characteristics that make one person or one group different from one another. A diverse workplace must also reflect how members are able to understand, accept, and recognise the value of these differences. These include: age, race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language and culture, religion, marital status, having abilities or disabilities, as well as having a range of different ideas, values, and perspectives.
To be clear, diversity should be seen from a relational standpoint. For example, if we consider someone from a different race as “diverse”, there is an implicit implication that the “dominant” race in the group is the most normal. Diversity is not about the process of “othering” towards the non-dominant group. It’s about how members can relate to one another and work together whilst respecting their unique differences.
This is often confused with “equality”. Here’s a quote to clarify the difference: “Equality is giving everyone the same pair of shoes. Equity is giving everyone a pair of shoes that fits.” Companies that promote equity in the workplace means that everyone is given an equal opportunity to access benefits, apply for career advancement, and receive fair treatment.
Equity also involves identifying and removing impediments that prevent some groups from availing these opportunities and from being able to fully participate. Understanding the socioeconomic disparities that some individuals are experiencing will lay a solid foundation in ensuring equity in the workplace. For example, expanding HMO benefits to include domestic partners as dependents allows them to enjoy the same health and medical advantages as legally married couples.
This refers to upholding a company culture where everyone is welcome to participate. An inclusive workplace reflects that the company respects, supports, and accepts every individual’s differences. Inclusive policies allow for a conducive working environment that’s engaging for employees to contribute and share their perspectives. It gives members of the organisation a sense of belonging. They are “seen” as real people with respect to their differences.
Based on a report by Quantum Workplace, 48% of employees believe that respect is the most important element in establishing an inclusive working environment. Practising empathy plays a key role here. Inclusive company policies should consider the point of view of the employees and their differences. It’s also important to assess whether there are barriers in the workplace or assumptions within the company culture that might exclude certain groups or individuals from having a balanced experience with their colleagues. Examples of inclusive practices can take the form of providing career development training programs to all employees or recognising them for their work achievements.
Providing diverse, equitable, and inclusive work opportunities in Vietnam
The Talent Consultants is a Vietnam-based recruitment agency that connects the best talent across the Southeast Asian region to multinational companies in various businesses. Through our talent acquisition sourcing in Ho Chi Minh city, we recruit the most qualified candidates and provide employment opportunities with organisations that encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion in their company culture.
For job seekers who wish to level-up their career journey, we invite you to visit our job vacancies page or submit your resume here. If your company requires the expert services of a professional headhunter agency in Vietnam, contact us on +84 28 7309 7991 or book your free consultation here.