If Diversity is vehicle of empowerment, Inclusivity is what fuels it.

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Do you remember that old saying “Variety is the spice of life”? Well, it’s true for life in general but especially true for corporate life. But we would like to dig a little deeper into what exactly does ‘variety’ mean when it comes to corporate culture. Many years ago, men were the whole and soul of the cream of the big business world. A few women did make appearances and the rarity was well celebrated. But it only made the imbalance of inclusion of women as top decision makers more obvious. Today, you know as well as we do, that gender inclusion is slowly tipping the scales in a positive direction. Women are emerging as CEOs, bosses, leaders and entrepreneurs all over India. They are also being included as skilled work force on many other levels where they are doing excellently. But we have a long way to go; a tough journey ahead to reach the goal of seeing the inclusion of not just women but other genders and age groups across various religions and backgrounds. A recent tweetchat organised by Believe In Yourself brought up many positive responses to the trending hashtag #ChooseToChallenge, one of which also touched upon the topic of what challenges lie ahead to achieve said goal and what can you as an organisation or a company do your bit? Read on and find out.

Believe In Yourself is a platform for thought leaders and believers, who are trying to make a difference by helping everyone believe in themselves, their potential and their dreams. In Diversity and Inclusion, we offer end-to-end services, working with clients to build their D&I approach and roadmap. We offer to build a culture of Inclusion; we organise workshops and customized interventions to help organisations leverage the power of diversity of gender, age-groups (millennials) in order to script a new narrative of inclusiveness in the workplace.

With the concept of diversity, there also emerges the concept of inclusivity. Why should this even be an issue in the first place if companies run on skills and expertise? Why should it matter who provides this skill? So what if this skill set comes from a millennial or a veteran? A woman or a man? A straight man or a gay man? A single woman or a married woman? A person who speaks anglicised English or one who is only fluent in pure Hindi? A woman who wears high heels and a suit or one who dresses in a salwar kameez and kohlapuris? How does it matter?

Well, it should not and that is the change we wish to see implemented in India’s corporate world today. Corporate rules must be bent if companies want to grow exponentially. Inclusivity is the not the first step: acceptance is – acceptance of the fact that there are many skill sets that will are natural and inherent in people; one cannot expect that all these skill sets will be “test-tube” grown in management schools and business institutes and be delivered to you in a suited, English-speaking package. Time and again, we have seen great tycoons rise from humble backgrounds – why not create a platform within companies that will facilitate such greatness to rise to the surface without setting constraints and restrictions of dress codes, language requirements, background requirements, certification requirements, gender requirements, personal status requirements, or even age requirements?

Accept and then include. Include them for their inherent or adapted skills not for where they come from or what they look like or their personal lifestyles. Such a diverse culture will create a mini-globe within your company. New ideas emerge when different views meet and that is a fact. In a world where expansion is the mother of innovation, be the game changer and create a hotspot of diversity and inclusion in your organisation for innovation to materalise.

A good part of Believe In Yourself’s tweetchat just before International Day of Women was centred on inclusivity regarding women. But it also fuelled a response that went beyond just gender bias and inclusivity of women in the corporate world, whether in lead positions or as a special-skills force. Where we can see that women lend their own brand of magic to the corporate world given their inherent compassion and empathetic nature, we can also envision an era wherein organisations, however big or small, will begin to look at other genders hitherto looked down upon, with the same light of inclusivity in their eyes – inclusivity across caste, religion, colour or background.

Listen, for the new mantra for growth is out:

Empowerment comes with Diversity. Fuel it with Inclusivity!



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