The impact of organisation values on diversity and inclusion
At their best, values can:
- Create an atmosphere of inclusion and ensure that everyone feels welcome
- Capitalise on the strengths of a diverse workforce and bring out the best in people
- Be used to create an environment of opportunity and growth
At their worst, values can:
- Unintentionally create a “closed-off” environment which limits diversity
- Be outdated and have a negative impact on the recruitment and promotion of diverse talent
- Be a barrier for people who have different beliefs or backgrounds
It is true that having values in an organisation can have many positive impacts, but it is also possible that these same values can stifle diversity and limit new perspectives and talent from coming through the doors. In many organisations, the values that it holds can unintentionally create a “closed-off” environment which can lead to a lack in diversity. This can create an atmosphere of stagnation, where ideas can’t be explored, and talent recruited in order to help the company grow and develop.
A startup in particular, can set itself apart by truly understanding that diversity is an essential component in order to succeed and apply values with a purpose to make sure that every individual feels welcomed and celebrated at the workplace. By being intentional in the values they hold, startups can create an atmosphere of inclusivity and opportunity, allowing it to reach its potential and achieve great things.
Retrospectively, it is equally important for organisations to take a step back and evaluate whether the values that have been set in place are having any negative impacts on the diversity which it can bring in. Maybe the values need to be reformed, or new ones need to be set up in order to ensure that diversity is encouraged. Ultimately, the goal of any organisation should be to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and can make a contribution, regardless of their background or identity.