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‘Diversity’ is probably one of the most misunderstood terminologies in any corporate setup as of today. My claim is based, not only on personal experiences, but also on the fact that, each year, there is an increase in the number of initiatives, that companies across the world are required to take up, to enforce Diversity and inclusion. Yet, even today, diversity is viewed as an alien concept and there is a lot of resistance towards embracing it. It has become the need of the hour to create awareness about having a culturally diverse, gender balanced work environment, which can contribute immensely towards the growth of an organization.
All said and done, the one question which keeps nagging me is, why we, as a society, as employees of a world class organization, need to be reminded, time and again about demonstrating an unbiased treatment towards our fellow beings? Is this a consequence of our education system? The answer is, probably not! Discrimination of all sorts are global in nature. Not even the progressive, first world countries are free from it. The measures towards curbing this social epidemic, which is widespread and thriving, have evolved over the years and have a wider reach today. Yet, the results are unsatisfactory. As the popular saying goes, ‘You can lead a horse to water, you cannot make him drink’, these initiatives will not work unless we show willingness to change. There are many amongst us who laugh it off or consider the issue unimportant. Also, due to peer pressure, some would rather choose to remain in ‘the group’, than stand up for such a cause. Listed below are a few changes, which when incorporated in our daily work life, can help immensely in making the ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ initiatives a success, in a true sense
- Take some time out to understand and appreciate the importance of having a diverse work environment. This way, we will have our own opinion on the topic, rather than following the crowd.
- Show willingness to work with a diverse workgroup, rather than shying away from the idea. This way, we get outside of our comfort zone and discover new avenues to build both our personal as well as professional lives.
- When it comes to recruitment, judge a person’s suitability for a job, solely on their performance and previous experience, and not on their gender. It is high time this stereotype is broken and we focus on giving equal opportunities to men and women.
- Strive towards creating a cordial work environment which encourages people to express freely – irrespective of their background or gender. Small and helpful gestures go a long way in helping the newbies feel comfortable and welcome at work.
- Do not tolerate or encourage any sort of harassment at workplace. Also, encourage your subordinates or peers to speak openly about any such happenings. Harassment at workplace can lead to serious issues and have a big impact on the mental health of employees.
The intent behind many of the initiatives taken up by the companies is to bring about a long lasting, or rather, a permanent change in the mindset of people. This is not a one-way street. These initiatives will be successful, if both the employers as well as the employees join hands, and work passionately towards achieving the goal.
By our Guest Blogger
Raksha Rao: Lead Engineer, Buildings and IT
I was recruited to the Busways & Equipment department of Schneider Electric in 2016 and have been working as a design engineer since then. To the utter shock of my fellow colleagues, the long cab journey to and from office is something I enjoy, because I get to read for hours together. Writing, on the other hand, is a passion, and I hope to be known for it, someday.