Why promoting social inclusion is essential for companies

Find out how businesses can also collaborate to make our society more inclusive

Social inclusion is a topic that is gaining more and more importance, not only in society but also in companies. 

Some studies show that more inclusive and diverse organizations tend to make better decisions and be more innovative than those that do not promote inclusion. 

In this article, we will talk about the concept of social inclusion, its importance and how it can be promoted in companies (and what it is like on iFood). 

What is social inclusion?

Social inclusion is the process of adapting social environments, such as education, work and politics, so that people from historically excluded groups have access to these spaces. 

This happens by improving the conditions for everyone's participation in society, expanding and reinforcing opportunities, access to resources, voice and respect for their rights. 

Historically excluded groups include people with special needs, low-income families, black people, women, people LGBTQIAP+ and the indigenous population. 

Social inclusion began to gain ground in the 1970s and 1980s in the United States and Europe, where it was consolidated in the following years.

In Brazil, this process was boosted in the late 1990s and early 2000s, especially with income transfer programs. 

How important is social inclusion?

Social inclusion is one of the main measures to reduce and eliminate social inequalities, combat exclusion, reduce poverty and promote the increase of social rights. 

Therefore, it is an essential part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN, which make up the 2030 Agenda and the Global Compact, of which iFood is a signatory

In a society, especially those with more social inequality, it is extremely important that governments, companies and organizations promote social inclusion. 

iFood has social inclusion goals well-defined to reduce inequalities and promote gender equality. 

By the end of 2023, the company wants to reach the goal of having 50% of women in its leadership positions (and 35% in senior positions) and 30% of black people in leadership, in addition to 40% of black employees.

Discover the types of social inclusion

The types of inclusion are diverse and plural, such as affirmative actions, income transfer programs, specific legislation and NGO social projects. 

The social quota is a affirmative action fundamental for Brazil in recent 10 years

With the Quota Law, social inclusion in education paved the way for diversity, with an increase in black people and indigenous people in universities. 

The inclusion of people with disabilities is guaranteed by Inclusion Law, which ensures them mobility, equal opportunities, guarantee of dignity, protection and empowerment. 

A person with a disability is someone who has physical, mental, intellectual or sensory limitations, which may make it difficult for them to participate in society on equal terms. 

What inclusion projects is iFood involved in?

Some of the social inclusion projects in which iFood is involved are:

  • Careers with Future Movement, to increase the inclusion of black professionals in the job market;
  • Racial Equity Promotion Pact, with a review of actions to effectively increase the percentage of black professionals among its employees;
  • Tech Power, offering courses and scholarships to support the entry of low-income people and underrepresented groups into the technology market.

Social inclusion and education projects are so important at iFood that its CEO, Fabrício Bloisi, is spokesperson for SDG 4 (Quality Education) of UN Global Compact. 

See other examples social inclusion

In Brazil, by 2020, there were around 815 thousand NGOs, according to the Map of Civil Society Organizations, from the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea). 

Of different sizes and working on different causes, these NGOs have at least one common objective: promoting the quality of life of people and the environment through social inclusion. 

In the area of income generation and combat to hunger, four stand out NGOs that are also iFood partners: The CUFA, The Citizenship Action, The Gastromotiva It is Organic Solidarity

Created in 1993, the NGO Friends of Good Its mission is also to combat hunger and poverty, especially in the northeastern hinterland region. 

5 tips on how to promote social inclusion in companies

To promote social inclusion in companies, joint actions from different sectors of the organization are necessary, which must be supported and encouraged by managers, CEOs and leaders. 

See below 5 tips on how to promote social inclusion in companies. 

  • Set goals to include professionals from minority and/or underrepresented groups;
  • Raise awareness and train professionals, especially Human Resources and managers, on the benefits of promoting inclusion, paying attention to women and vulnerable groups; 
  • Offer specific guidance services with organizations that represent or support disadvantaged or historically excluded groups; 
  • Provide support and guidance to employees, especially younger ones, such as interns and apprentices, who are in a vulnerable or abandoned situation;
  • Create events and initiatives focused on inclusion and make sure that the events promoted by the company are also inclusive, promoting diversity.  
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