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Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

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Week 1: What is a diverse workplace and why is it important?


Welcome to Week 1 of the free badged course Diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Congratulations, you’ve taken your first step towards understanding and enhancing the role that both diversity and inclusion must play in the future of your organisation.

‘Diversity and inclusion’ is a significant topic and an 8 week course can’t cover every aspect in comprehensive detail, so the aim is to introduce you to key themes and issues, and to provide inspiration for further research and action. There is no quick fix for understanding and embracing diversity, it’s a long term commitment and this is just the beginning of your journey.

The amount of online information available can seem overwhelming, so this course will highlight some of the best advice available at the time of writing, and set it into a logical order to help you progress with your diversity and inclusion plans. As the issues discussed in this course are continually developing, you can use the content to inspire your own research into the very latest thinking

You’ll also find case studies and quotes from employers and individuals who have already started their diversity journeys. Real life experiences are at the core of the videos you’ll see in the introduction to each week. These videos include excerpts from interviews conducted with a variety of employers, sharing their observations and experiences and providing inspiration on the week’s key topics.

Watch this first video, in which our interviewees explain why diversity and inclusion is important in their organisations.

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Video 1: Introduction to Week 1
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You’ll start this week by exploring some definitions, to enhance your understanding of diversity and inclusion. You’ll explore some of the associated social and legal responsibilities, and learn about the benefits a diverse workforce can bring.

By the end of this week you will be able to:

  • define diversity and recognise its variety
  • understand the importance of inclusion in creating a diverse workplace
  • explain some of the wider benefits diversity can bring to an organisation.

Before you start, The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations of the course. Your input will help to further improve the online learning experience. If you’d like to help, and if you haven’t done so already, please fill in this optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.