Businesses Attempting to Create More Inclusive Workplaces, Star in Me Report

Businesses Attempting to Create More Inclusive Workplaces, Star in Me Report

By: Navyasri, Writer, Womenentrepreneurindia | Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Inevitably, diversity and inclusion are interconnected. Organizations that lack diversity seem unable to be inclusive. Without inclusion, diverse organizations cannot prosper.

The pressure to develop diverse and inclusive workplaces is increasing. Not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is the wise thing to do. According to research, diverse and inclusive organisations achieve 70 percent higher growth, 36 percent better profitability, 75 percent faster time to market, and 19 percent better innovation. However, while much time and attention has been paid to diversity, there has been far less attention paid to what organisations must do to become really inclusive.

According to a survey by career acceleration platform The Star in Me, a considerable proportion of women professionals in India have experienced gender bias at work, but surprisingly women in technology reporting lower levels of bias than those in non-technology sectors.

Women in tech aren't entirely rare, but working in a male-dominated field may be difficult. According to research, technology is one of the most underrepresented industries, with women accounting for fewer than 20% of the workforce. To close the gender gap, organizations, leaders, and institutions are promoting women to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) degrees.

The 'Break the Bias' survey polled over 700 respondents in India who worked for significant corporations.Even when it comes to gender and prejudice sensitization campaigns, 72 percent of technology respondents indicated their companies have them, compared to only 46 percent of non-tech firms.

Behavioral inclusion is one of the four essential aspects involved in creating an inclusive workplace. Individuals can be inclusive by identifying and trying to eliminate long-held unconscious bias. Structural Inclusion: Organizations can be more inclusive by re-examining and restructuring their talent management systems to ensure that they are fair and equal for all employees. Inclusive leadership: Leaders may create collaboration and cultural agility by nurturing a specific set of skills and experiences. Change management: Executives may assist firms in being more inclusive by ensuring that improvements are sustained over time.

All four aspects are inextricably linked. In order to improve collaborative intelligence, quality decision-making and problem-solving, and overall team creativity, behavioural and structural inclusion are interdependent. Leaders that are inclusive establish a trusting, open climate that allows for behavioural and structural inclusiveness. Effective change management underpins all of these efforts, allowing firms to be more inclusive in the long run.

“There is a definite shift in the way organizations are building inclusive workplaces. Having acknowledged the challenges at hand, leaders are introducing several initiatives to attract and engage women talent across career stages,” said Mahua Mukherjee, cofounder of The Star in Me.

From unconscious bias training to inclusive design, you need structural and behavioural inclusion interventions to be an inclusive and equitable organisation.Courage and willpower are required on a more human level.

Courage to question whether disparities exist and, if so, to face and correct past wrongs. Courage to enter the environments of others who are unlike you, experience things from their point of view, and be curious about how they think, feel, and act. Courage to share your personal journey and how it has influenced how you see and live in the world.

After all, courage necessitates the determination to see things through, knowing that becoming an inclusive business involves more than one excellent training session or high-profile project. You'll need the determination to alter longstanding but discriminatory cultural practises, as well as the guts to see such changes through.

“As organizations tackle the ongoing talent crunch, it is more crucial than ever to address unconscious bias and gender stereotyping. To create inclusive cultures that enable a diverse workforce to thrive, organizations should adopt a three-pronged approach. First, they should educate employees on understanding and tackling bias. Second, they should invest in the growth of women talent to bridge the gender gap in leadership. And third, they should cultivate allies at all levels,” said Uma Kasoji, cofounder of The Star in Me.

Companies that speak out about their desire to hire more women in tech have the best success at attracting them. Beyond mentorship, there are several methods for organisations to invest in the growth of their female employees and advocate for their success.

Companies should take the initiative to forge partnerships and solicit feedback from female employees in order to develop programmes and activities that best support them. They can work together to develop spaces where women can share ideas and discuss critical topics in a secure environment. When managers and executives buy in and support these initiatives, they demonstrate their commitment to closing the gap.