Ask the Expert

What is Inclusion? How does it affect me in the workplace?

Inclusion refers to a sense of belonging.

Inclusive workplaces value and respect differences in people; where we can fully participate, innovate and thrive. Many research studies show that inclusive cultures have more positive business outcomes.

Each one of us has a specific role to play, for organizations to be successful in creating inclusive workplaces. So the question that really matters is, “how inclusive are you?”

Read: The Individual Inclusion Journey: How Inclusive are YOU?

I understand the importance of diversity and inclusion, how can I contribute to supporting this at the workplace?

Congratulations! Understanding the importance of being inclusive is the first step towards moving the needle in creating inclusive cultures.

3 steps to be a real ‘Ally’ at the workplace

  • Get involved in your organization’s diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Join support / employee resource groups and understand the challenges faced by under-represented groups of people
  • Use your position and privilege to speak up and take action for under-represented minorities

Join our Parity Plexus community for Inclusion Allies, where you can engage in knowledge-sharing ideas across industries, to create inclusive workplaces.

Read: 6 Steps for Building an Inclusive Workplace

What is unconscious bias? How does this impact us in the workplace?

Personal experiences and information wire our brains to recognise patterns. Patterns we see or experience on a daily basis, give rise to biases.

While all human minds carry biases, it is important for us to be aware of how our biases impact our actions. Our instinctive reaction as a result of our natural biases may not be the correct response at all times.

Unconscious biases are social stereotypes we have about people and situations, as a result of this hard wiring. These biases often hinder a culture of inclusion.

Recognising personal biases makes us conscious of them. This helps mitigate discrimination based on differences and focus on the value people bring to the table.

Watch: Are you biased? I am

How can organizations create awareness around prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) at workplaces?

Our survey found that 75% of people do not report sexual harassment at the workplace. Respondents struggled with recognising and articulating sexually harassing behavior. It is essential that employees are aware of the POSH Act, the need to refrain from inappropriate behavior and how they can report incidents of sexual harassment at the workplace.

Our website has free downloadable posters, tool kits and best practices to help you create awareness around POSH.

 

Read: Obligations of the employer under the Sexual Harassment Act of 2013

What is the role of an Internal Committee(IC) in preventing sexual harassment? How can an organization set up the IC?

As quasi-judicial bodies, ICs have an immense responsibility to assess if a complaint raised is sexual harassment or not. IC members need to be equipped with knowledge, key tools and concepts that can enable them to understand sexual harassment and conduct bias-free investigations. Read this article, where we share more information on What to Keep in Mind While Implementing an Internal Committee.

Join our POSHasya community, where you can engage with allies and IC members to get updates on best practices towards prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment in workplaces.

I am looking for a mentor to give me career guidance. How can I find the right mentor?

Mentoring can accelerate your career by providing you the guidance and direction to successfully navigate through it.

Why Mentoring? – Ask yourself, why are you looking for a mentor? Understand what areas of your career you are struggling with, that need focus. Once you have identified this, you can then reach out to your network of senior members in organizations and connect with people who you think are most suitable. You can also check with external organizations that offer mentoring programs such as Parity’s WoMentors 9to5.

Identifying a Mentor – When you look for a mentor, you need to identify someone with varied experiences, skills and perspectives, in order to give you a different point of view.

Success – The critical success factor in mentoring is the mentor-mentee relationship and both parties need to be invested, in order to make it successful.

Read: 4 Questions to consider when choosing a Mentor

Why should organizations invest in Women Leadership Programs?

There are various factors that affect the representation of women at different levels, but as we see more women reaching senior management positions, there are many who are still stuck in the entry or mid-manager roles.

A McKinsey study shows that gender diversity on executive teams in companies are able to increase profitability by 21% and their 2019 study states that – progress at the top is constrained by a “broken rung”.

In order to create a strong pipeline for inclusive leadership, organizations need to take proactive measures by investing in women leadership programs, setting up inclusive policies and having fair practices. 

Read: What makes for an effective women’s leadership program?

Do we really need women’s development programs at workplaces?

If you would like to know more about “Inclusion” or have a query, write to us. 

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