Why Workplace Equality & Diversity Needs to Move Beyond Gender

Equal pay! More women in the workforce! Gender diversity! These are the core aspects when one thinks of diversity and inclusion in the workplace today, however, the problem is that other aspects are being ignored like ethnicity, skills, gender, race, thought, sexual orientation, religion. Moreover, even something like neurodiversity is being completely sidelined, particularly in the corporate world and while gender parity is being focused on in India, there is a massive need for the conversation to be moved beyond the boundaries of gender alone. 

Parity needs to be extended to fair practices at work too

The ideal organization must give a voice, respect, and equity to its employees regardless of their religion, gender, sexual orientation and more, or surely the business will suffer in terms of productivity and employee engagement. Forbes India says, “Inclusion, therefore, is not merely a ‘feel good’ strategy—it is an imperative. Innovation, growth, and success can only come from organizations that belong to ‘everyone’, with equal access to resources and opportunities.” Also, parity needs to be extended to fair practices at work like the fair allocation of the workload, equal access to professional benefits and work conditions. More importantly, promotions and hiring must be based on merit rather than if the candidate is planning to get married in the future or wants to have children in the next couple of years. Furthermore, one of the biggest after-effects of diversity and inclusion is a fertile workplace that promotes movement into roles that have scope and impact. 

Ensure that everyone is heard, gather information & investigate impartially

Another huge benefit is that it will help employees learn more from their colleagues when they are different from though. Although working with people who are similar to you can be ideal, it leaves no room for improvement and constructive challenges on the part of the organization and employees. Also, it is not synonymous with the real world, since once yous step out of the “ideal” workplace, one has to interact with people who will be very different from you. Moreover, the corporate world is a global one that is leaving a lot of room for people to get to know each other, despite their vast differences. This means even more to people if they in leadership positions at their respective companies. “So, if you are in a position of influence (I believe everyone is, in their own unique way) at your workplace, you could start by appreciating the uniqueness of each employee. Ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. In cases of grievances, gather information and investigate impartially.” The truth is that in spite of the workplace being a “professional” realm, people do want to belong after all the spend the most productive hours of their day in one place.

Image credit: Experience


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