In recent years, diversity in companies has become one of the most analyzed corporate characteristics. Encouraged by some organizations, neglected by others, the truth is that in today’s world, it is difficult to ignore it as a defining part of the company. So, what do we mean by diversity in multinational companies? Read on to find out.
What is diversity in companies?
A diverse company encourages the inclusion of different profiles in its workforce concerning different parameters, usually of a socio-cultural, sexual, or ethnic nature. However, they can also vary in other ways.
Diversity is essential as it allows the company to adapt to the economic ecosystem to which it belongs, to grow, and, of course, to promote the psychological well-being of its most important constituent element: people.
In short, diversity in companies is a means to be promoted according to its usefulness for a purpose: that people who are very different in terms of specific parameters have the opportunity to join the team and develop professionally in that company, contributing to its progress.
Diversity and inclusion in companies
Diversity in companies is usually referred to as the numerical balance between men and women within the team, the presence of employees from other cultures or countries, and, of course, everything related to sexual and gender diversity and functional diversity, traditionally known within the field of physical and psychological “disabilities.”
These three aspects stand out because they are difficult, if not impossible, to conceal. They are, therefore, the ones that always get the most emphasis on this matter. However, we must bear in mind that diversity is diverse because it alludes to a characteristic inherent to each individual and humanity as a whole: complexity.
From this point of view, there are multiple factors to consider when analyzing or promoting diversity in companies. Some, such as those we have just mentioned, are very visible. In contrast, others tend to remain hidden unless the work environment of trust in the teams – or, directly, people’s willingness to share their reality explicitly – brings them to the table.
8 aspects that contribute to diversity in companies
As much as we may want to hide it or conceal it, our age is there; it influences our life and professional experience, the character or mood with which we face decisions and events, as well as the relationship with our colleagues.
It is not the same if the average age of a company is 25 or 50, but what is interesting is not the average age but what has given rise to it. Those who want to be aware of diversity in companies need to familiarize themselves with the scope of generational differences in the workplace.
2. Gender identity
Without complex explanations on this subject, employees’ gender identity refers to the gender they identify with, which goes beyond the traditional division between considering themselves as men or women.
When building their teams, companies must consider what balance and openness they present when recruiting men and women and their view of transsexuality, non-binary gender, or other possible manifestations or interpretations of gender.
3. Ethnicity and nationality
We don’t have it written on our foreheads whether we were born in Canada, Kenya, or Israel. Still, our ethnic characteristics, our name, the language we speak (and how we speak it), and other socio-cultural manifestations strongly give away where we come from and to which ethnic group we belong.
Companies need to be aware of how ethnic diversity and the geographic origin of employees influence diversity in companies. Companies should be aware of how to encourage it, and how to manage it so that it does not negatively impact team cohesion.
4. Functional diversity
In a world that pays more and more attention to the ideas of inclusion, tolerance, and even multiple intelligence and talents, the field of functional diversity takes on particular relevance when we talk about diversity in companies.
Is our company prepared to work with an employee who is deaf, blind, wheelchair-bound, or has Down syndrome or some degree of cerebral palsy or intelligence deficit?
5. Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation is the sexual attraction an individual feels towards other individuals of a particular o several genders and the capacity to develop feelings that we would colloquially call “couple-like” towards them. There are several sexual orientations, but heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality are most common.
Whether we explicitly talk about it with our colleagues or not, people’s sexual orientation is present in office life. It can be a focus of inclusion, team cohesion, and positive work climate or experienced when we transcend the heterosexual norm – as a threat or a problem.
How do we in the company view our employees’ sexual orientation, and how do we want it to affect us at the corporate level?
Although not all countries are equally diverse in this respect and, therefore, companies do not notice it as much in their teams, religious affiliation is an issue to consider within the corporate culture.
We are in the office to work and not engage in theological speculation. However, religion is critical in some people’s identity and habits, and it is not always easy to leave it out of offices and meeting rooms. From precepts that have to do with a daily prayer to those that affect food, to give just two examples, religion can be present in various ways in the company’s day-to-day life.
With employees’ political ideology, something similar to their religious beliefs happens: it is not visible at first (or it is), but it ends up emerging indirectly, in small doses, or even explicitly and grandiosely.
Everyone has a political ideology, even those who believe they do not have a political ideology because they confuse this idea with regular adherence to a specific party.
This is neither good nor bad in itself; it is simply part of the natural life of human beings. Therefore, it must be considered because diversity/homogeneity in terms of ideology will influence the work environment, the brand, the corporate image, and, hence, the employee experience.
8. Education and work experience
This is what we call professional background. It is clear that some companies, because of the type of product they manufacture or the service they offer, will need consistency or transversality in the professional profiles they hire.
However, the same reasons may cause others to look for talent in more disparate profiles in terms of studies, professional experience, and even other life experiences. The important thing, in the end, is that the structure of the team allows for a good working environment and efficient performance.
Emotional well-being program for companies
At ifeel, we believe that work should not disrupt people’s well-being. That is why our team of psychologists, experts in well-being at work, has created an emotional well-being program for companies that positively impacts talent retention, reduces absenteeism, and combats employee stress.
In our Resources section, you will find helpful material, such as podcasts, HR guides, or interviews with HR managers. In addition, we have a Psychosocial Risk Factors Template, which you can use to comply with the requirements of the Labor Inspection.
Thanks to our emotional well-being program, your company’s HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on improving the psychological well-being of their teams. In addition, this program offers employees a 360° mental health care service structured at different levels according to their needs. Try our program today to see how it could help you.
We hope you found this post about how to increase diversity in companies interesting. If you would like more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, request it, and we will contact your team as soon as possible.