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Opinion - Embracing diversity and inclusivity in the workplace

2023-06-05  Correspondent

Opinion - Embracing diversity and inclusivity in the workplace

Emilia N Shatipamba


Diversity is a dimension that can be used to differentiate groups or people from one another. 

Specifically in the workplace, diversity is about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and nationality.

Therefore, it is very important that the workplace creates an opportunity for colleagues to have a sense of understanding and accepting one another regardless of their differences. 

Diversity allows colleagues to explore each other’s differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. This encourages colleagues to understand one another and promote tolerance among themselves to ensure that everyone trully values their differences. 

It also allows everyone to embrace and celebrate the diversity of each individual and place a positive value on diversity in the workforce and in the community at large.

Creating a diverse environment in the workplace is not only the responsibility of those in management and leadership positions but also the responsibility of each individual at the workplace. 

Everyone brings with them a diverse set of perspectives, work, and life experiences, as well as religious and cultural differences. 

Therefore, the power of diversity can only be embraced and its benefits gained when everyone in the workplace recognises the differences in others and learns to accept, respect, and value one another.

Inclusion is a sense of belonging whereby everyone feels respected and valued for who they are as individuals or part of a group. The process of inclusion engages each individual and makes everyone at the workplace feel valued and important towards contributing to the success of the organisation. 

I believe when people feel valued, they function at full capacity and feel part of the organisation’s mission. Inclusivity promotes a positive working environment in the workplace whereby motivation and confidence are boosted in colleagues. 

Inclusion has an influence on the colleagues’ mindset and culture that has a visible effect in the workplace such as participation in meetings, participation in extramural activities, and access to particular facilities or information at the workplace. 

Inclusion must be an organisational effort and practice in which different groups or individuals from different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed.

In a nutshell, in order for the workplace to embrace diversity and inclusivity, respect for one another must be the number one key in the workplace. Being respectful is the key to adapting to a new, diverse environment. 

It is the responsibility of each individual to prevent or resolve conflicts that may occur in the workplace, by respecting others, being open-minded, and willing to compromise. 

Diverse and inclusive workplaces create a platform for colleagues to work together harmoniously and to resolve conflicts that may arise. 

Having a diverse and inclusive workforce means happier and healthier personnel, and those in management and leadership positions will have a greater access to the talent and skills of everyone at the workplace that are needed for the organisations to succeed.


* Emilia N Shatipamba is a secondary school teacher with a Master’s Degree in Education Special Needs.

2023-06-05  Correspondent

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