Diversity and inclusion: why the topic gains strength in companies

Find out what the concept of diversity and inclusion means, its importance, its benefits and types and the national scenario

Diversity and inclusion is a theme increasingly present in companies and has to do with recognizing the plurality, differences and richness of the characteristics of human beings. 

Therefore, adopting policies and programs that make sense for employees and helping to build a fairer society is increasingly important in companies. 

Therefore, in this guide, you will find information about the concept of diversity and inclusion, its importance, its benefits and types and the national scenario. 

What is diversity and inclusion?

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is a concept that refers to the appreciation of plurality and differences in races, ethnicities, cultures, age and gender in different social contexts. 

Women, LGBTQIA+ people, black people, elderly people, young people, indigenous people, people with physical and mental disabilities and immigrants are part of historically excluded groups. 

In this sense, including human diversity in companies, organizations and government is essential for promoting equality and a fairer society. 

In this way, the D&I agenda is increasingly present in organizations, promoting more equality, innovation, engagement and even improving the financial performance

According to Global Diversity and Inclusion SurveyIn 2020, 76% of participants said the topic is a value or priority.

What is its importance in companies?

The importance of diversity and inclusion programs in companies lies in the fact that they become more sustainable, ethical and socially responsible. 

Furthermore, promoting equal opportunities and treating everyone fairly is the duty of every company to commit to values, ethics and human rights. 

In a country uneven It is violent, especially with women and black people, like Brazil, promoting diversity and inclusion in companies should generate positive impacts on society.

5 benefits of diversity and inclusion in companies 

The benefits of D&I in companies are numerous, both for managers, directors and CEOs, as well as for employees, consumers and customers. 

Therefore, see below 5 benefits of diversity and inclusion in companies. 

  • Investing in a plurality of talents produces more creative and innovative solutions; 
  • Company generates positive social impact by hiring people from segments of the population in situations of vulnerability and exclusion; 
  • Promoting D&I results in superior performance compared to companies that are indifferent to the topic; 
  • D&I attracts and retains talent with different experiences and perspectives; 
  • The company increases its capacity for adaptation and innovation, generating more productivity and financial return. 

Understand the difference between diversity and inclusion 

The difference between diversity and inclusion is that the first term refers to “what” or “who”; and the second, “how”. 

The diversity strategist Vernã Meyers There is a famous phrase that illustrates this difference well: diversity is calling to the dance; inclusion is inviting people to dance. 

In this sense, demographic representation — race, gender, ethnicity, age group, culture — is important, but it is necessary to ensure that people are welcomed and valued. 

Types of diversity

Types of diversity in companies concern their demographic composition, covering different groups, ethnicities, age groups, sexual orientation and gender. 

Gender, racial, sexual and age diversity are some of these types. 

Furthermore, people with physical and mental disabilities, former prison inmates and immigrants are also part of diversity strategies and programs. 

Forms of inclusion 

There are several forms of inclusion that can be promoted by companies, such as the program iFood Includes, which has well-defined and detailed goals. 

By 2025, iFood wants to have 50% of women and 30% of black people in leadership positions, 35% of women in senior leadership and 40% of black people in iFood in general. 

In addition to corporate programs, companies can use booklets, manuals, training, lectures, campaigns, leadership paths and inclusive communication. 

What is the Brazilian scenario in diversity and inclusion 

Despite gaining evidence and space in organizations and companies, diversity and inclusion in the Brazilian scenario is challenging due to the lack of strategic planning in the area. . 

The conclusion is from the unprecedented survey Brazilian Diversity and Inclusion Scenario, from the consultancy Mais Diversidade and VOCÊ RH, from 2020. 

According to the survey, 97% of the 300 companies interviewed intended to maintain or increase the D&I budget in 2021; 26% of these adapted their existing HR practices to diversity issues. 

The research Difference that makes the Difference, from Instituto Ethos and Época magazine, in 2022, revealed that 46% of the companies consulted already include diversity goals. 

See tips on how to promote diversity and inclusion in companies

Promoting diversity and inclusion in companies involves decisions, actions and commitment on the part of managers, directors and executives. 

Some practices can be applied in an organization so that it becomes truly inclusive, according to Alyson Meister, leadership teacher. 

See 5 tips on how to promote diversity 

  • Adopt rigorous transformation management for diversity and inclusion 
  • Indicate those responsible for the D&I program and provide a budget 
  • Set viable and possible goals and monitor results 
  • Define D&I practices as the direct responsibility of leaders 
  • Build bridges and make efforts to change culture

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