Diversity and Equality in the Workplace
28 de June de 2022
28 de June de 2022
Susana García, Pilar Llácer, Maria del Mar Castro, Carlos Arciniega, Oliva González, Marta González, Juan Carlos Merino, José Díaz, Fátima Aldama.
All throughout this month, we asked several members of the EAE community to share their opinion on inclusion policies in the workplace.
We asked them whether they thought that companies were currently placing value on inclusion, addressing the issues of sexual identity and gender equality, and about their thoughts on how fostering diversity can affect the workplace.
Making them part, through their answers, of a week that deserves to be celebrated.
Head of Admissions | EAE Business School
I think we’re making great progress in this sense. However, I think that the real challenge is to get companies to hire professionals based on their value, regardless of their gender or sexual identity, but not as a way to improve their image or to comply with a certain established quota.
However, until we reach this point, it’s great news to see that both companies and society at large are improving and normalising the different identities, getting us closer to equality
Any minority that seeks recognition is usually perceived as an uneasy presence in the work environment, but I think that the progress we’re making as a society helps normalise this situation.
From that point onwards, we must work towards having companies that hire workers for their value and see their gender or sexual identity as important as the colour of their eyes or the place they were born in.
Head Work of the Future Centre | EAE Business School
Currently, big companies —especially multinational companies— think about inclusion and diversity as a strategic issue based on two particular aspects: customer loyalty and talent attraction.
Our current society is diverse. There are SDGs that focus on gender equality and seek to reduce inequalities in general. Focusing on sexual identity and gender equality is a way of addressing the interest of clients that want to commit to this issue.
It shouldn’t be seen as actions to create awareness, but rather as an answer to the demands of a market that is becoming more and more diverse.
The workplace must always be a reflection of society. It’s that simple.
Professor of Corporate Protocol | EAE Business School
The creation of strategic plans and policies for diversity and inclusion in order to select people based on their value and professional skills is what started a journey that still has many stages to go and lots of progress to make.
There must be commitment from top management in companies regarding diversity and inclusion initiatives. Some actions that create opportunities for equality include reducing the gender pay gap, increasing the number of women in top management positions and carrying out awareness and sensitivity sessions.
The benefits that diversity brings to the different sectors of an organisation are well known: it increases creativity and stimulates innovation through the incorporation of a variety of talents and ways of thinking; it improves productivity and performance, promoting a sense of belonging and commitment; and, among many others, it optimises the management of the personal/professional brand.
Professor, Lecturer and Researcher | EAE Business School
The evolution of companies is not that different from the evolution of the society in which they thrive. The roadmap of companies and their plans for corporate social responsibility, internal promotion, HR plans, etc., have been shaped by aspects like gender equality, respect for identity and the sexual condition of their workers.
These initiatives must continue to be part of the strategic planning of companies. And for that, training and education are needed for managerial positions at every level, as well as the development of internal and external awareness plans.
A diverse working team offers companies a diverse and global perspective, a richer point of view that’s the result of human experience and culture. And that means that they will have greater chances of communicating and expanding towards more diverse markets, both local and distant.
Diversity offers the opportunity to successfully develop businesses in a global market, fostering creativity, empathy, versatility and adaptation to change.
Psychologist and Professor | EAE Business School
In many companies and sectors, the importance of inclusion is presented as an obligation and a conviction. We should all reflect (at a personal level and as a society) upon what inclusion means exactly and assess its viability. It’s not possible to give inclusion the importance it deserves from an approach that comes from obligation, because, in this way, what we cause is rejection.
In our current society, rejection, tolerance, respect and inclusion coexist in different degrees and, ultimately, this creates a melting pot that is hard to manage. In order to create opportunities, the first thing we need to do is reflect upon what that opportunity actually is and what exactly is it that we’re offering; whether we’re doing it from a place of obligation and to which degree are we doing it from our conviction and own will and from real opportunities.
Diversity is the essence of life in the known universe. What we do as a society is sometimes unnatural, against the essence of life. If there’s one thing human beings have been known for all throughout history, is for their ability to truly understand where intelligence lies and what is healthy and which things work and which don’t. We seek intelligent life outside the planet while denying intelligence right here on Earth. That, to me, is just crazy. When it comes to managing diversity, the same thing happens.
Diversity is essential for the workplace. Each one of us perceives reality with our own limitations. That’s why, if we have only people with similar profiles, we will have very limited realities and poor management. As we introduce diversity, our understanding and knowledge about reality will broaden, providing us with better road maps and presenting us with more complete management ideas.
Professor of Corporate Communication | EAE Business School
Gender equality is not just a fundamental human right; it’s one of the essential elements for the creation of a positive, peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world that lives in harmony.
There’s no denying that we’ve made some progress (not all we want yet) during the past decades: more young girls attend school and less young girls are forced to get married; women occupy positions in parliaments and corporate leadership positions; and laws now take into account gender equality and sexual identity inclusion.
Despite all these achievements, laws and discriminatory social rules still exist among companies (especially in SMEs), women are still underrepresented in every political leadership level and one out of five women and young girls between 15 and 49 years old declare to have suffer sexual or physical violence from someone in the family circle and/or from a partner, as well as in the workplace.
It’s pretty simple but, sometimes, it’s so obvious it doesn’t seem real: the way to go on about this matter is through education and lots of pedagogy. As well as examples and a model for actions and teaching equality behaviour. Every person counts and we’re all useful and valid. Including everyone is a task and a responsibility that everyone should take part in. And of course… Communication, communication, communication.
Providing care for children and the elder as a shared task, calling out cases of sexism and abuse, rejecting gender binarism, demanding a culture of equality in the workplace, asserting our rights and aim for responsible consumption.
Diversity is an accelerator and a booster of innovation. Also, diversity —including everyone, no matter the age or gender or if they have disabilities or if they belong to a community like the LGBT— is the way to enrich any organisation, whether it’s a corporation or a human organisation. The more diversity, the more possibilities to achieve quality and excellence in the workplace.
Teaching and Research Academic Staff | EAE Business School
Regarding inclusion of sexual identity, I don’t think there’s currently a normal acceptance of this subject, which makes it more difficult to include people from diverse communities into the labour market. On the other hand, when it comes to gender equality, a lot has been done in order to avoid discrimination, which gives place to a new culture and social awareness that makes companies pay more attention and give more importance to it.
As for talent attraction, gender shouldn't matter, rather a person’s talent and skills. Something to think about: in the hypothetical case you should have to choose a doctor to conduct heart surgery that could save your life, between two specialists, which one would you choose? Would you choose based on their gender or based on their knowledge, experience and abilities?
Lecturer and Professor of Marketing and Sales | EAE Business School
Yes, I believe so. Nowadays there’s a positive discrimination towards women, how else can you explain there are goals to reach a certain percentage of women in the structures of companies?
Making them part of the corporate culture, each person must be treated with respect and care, and everyone’s voice must be heard.
Diversity is enriching. Each person has something to contribute and each person is different.
Professor of Marketing and Business | EAE Business School
A great number of companies foster a culture of openness, equality and no discrimination towards anyone. Many of them have specific equality programmes (mandatory practically for the majority of them) and programmes for the inclusion of communities of people with non-traditional or undefined sexual identities.
Diversity is, without a doubt, positive for employees and companies. It is a representation of society, it contributes ideas and ways of perceiving the market and services. Out of all the different typologies of diversities recognised by the UN, the one that may have the most positive impact in organisations is generational diversity, which some studies show to have an effect on results, increasing them by up to 15 to 20%.