Equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace has been the buzz for the past recent years. Many companies have adhered and adapted to having equality and diversity in their respective workplaces. Both seem to have the same meanings – indeed they may be similar but are different from each other. They ensure to bring about equality in the workplace.
Equal opportunity in the workplace refers to an employment practice that ensures that opportunities related to job, positions available, or promotion are open to everyone. It would guarantee no discrimination based on age, colour, race, nationality, sex, gender preference, marital status, religious beliefs, physical ability or disabilities, mental abilities, medical conditions, among others. Opportunities in the workplace should be available and accessible to everyone.
Diversity, on the other hand, allows different or diverse human qualities to form part of a group or a workplace. These qualities that differentiate us from the next person refers to ethnicity, gender, age, race, sex, gender, physical abilities, educational background, economic status, marital status, cultural background, geographical or regional origin, among others. Having this diversity allows an environment to see things at multiple perspectives and recognising that everyone has value and potential to contribute to a greater community and purpose.
Equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace is essential and key to an organisation’s success, both in its goals and its culture. When a company demonstrates that they put a premium on opportunities without discrimination or bias, and when they build a team that is composed of diverse backgrounds, they show that equality and fairness is of paramount importance to them.
Equal opportunity ensures that opportunities are given and earned by people based on their capabilities, qualification, and experience. This prevents favouritism or personal preference in in the choice of candidates for any opportunities in companies to ensure the most qualified or capable person gets the post or the promotion.
Diversity in the workplace considers the differences in our backgrounds, and how we can merge these diversity into a unique convergence. Considering these divergences can lead to better decision-making and problem-solving as a team. Embracing these mixed cultures and backgrounds fosters acceptance and respect of each other and enables a fair and harmonious culture inside the organisation.
A lot of companies are already practising equal opportunities and diversity in their organisations, and are seeing the benefits of doing so. It has improved their company culture, encouraging individuals to see others as equals and no one is at an advantage over the other. It sets out a positive and encouraging environment that prioritises equality across everyone. It is rather a breath of fresh air in the world where discrimination has taken the front seat in many places.
These organisations adopting equal opportunities and diversity are proving that prejudice, bias and discrimination can be reduced, if not entirely eliminated in the workplace. This promotes sustainability in recruitment and work culture health, and the workplace has proven to be one of the most effective sources where equality can be nurtured and boosted.
To know more about how you can promote equal opportunity and diversity in your organisation, Carrie Benedet is an experienced leadership coach who can provide guidance and education. Send her a message today.