Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not foreign concepts in the workplace. However, as more organizations focus on these important principles, there are still common misconceptions. Knowing what something is NOT is just as important as learning more about the topic.
Here we have outlined some myths and misconceptions related to diversity to help your business evolve and improve.
Diversity or Inclusion Require You to Treat Every Individual the Same
One of the common myths related to diversity is that it requires you to treat every individual the same way.
In reality, treating everyone exactly the same fails to appreciate differences, important nuances, and may inadvertently alien groups in which you are trying to include. Understanding various backgrounds, adjusting approaches and including diverse perspectives will create an inclusive and diverse organization.
Everyone wants to feel seen and valued, brushing everyone with the same broad stroke may have the opposite impact if you are trying to promote inclusion and belonging in the workplace. It is essential that you take the “individual differences” of each worker into account. This way, the workplace environment incorporates the creative elements of different cultures and backgrounds.
Diversity is Exclusivity
This is another common misconception many people have regarding diversity. Focusing on including diverse perspectives does not necessitate excluding other perspectives. Ensuring one race does not feel alienated does not mean that members of another race should feel attacked.
Diversity can only be successfully cultivated and retained, if organizations create a culture where all individuals can thrive and feel valued and included. Put simply, organizations should respect the values and cultural differences of all employees without making them feel “different.”
Diversity Requires Lowering the Bar
Diversity and inclusion doesn’t lower the standard or quality of individuals or candidates, it widens the net to find, attract, and retain them. Diverse and inclusive organizations have less turn over, they attract more diverse talent, and more diverse perspectives lead to more innovation and higher profitability. Diversity, in fact, raises the bar.
Diversity is Only about Women and Minorities
Diversity means much more than gender or race. Everyone brings some form of diversity to the table. Whether that’s a different perspective, socioeconomic background, religion, disability, or experiences. Diversity is valuing differences and increasing the perspectives at the table.
It doesn’t confine itself to creating opportunities or respecting the differences of only women and minorities. It has a broader approach as it does not differentiate between people based on their gender only. In fact, diversity is all about recognizing individual differences.
All in all, these common myths can prevent your organization or company from hiring or retaining valuable and under-represented applicants. Debunking such myths and challenging yourself and your organization to grow in its approach to diversity and inclusion will create a more successful, productive, and profitable organization.