Unit 2: The importance of a safe organisational culture


2.4 Why equality, diversity and inclusion in workspaces matter

Studies show that organisations that are more diverse and inclusive in recruitment and approach tend to be successful. They attract the best talent, as talented individuals want to work in organisations where they see people like themselves represented, particularly in top leadership positions.

Under representation of some groups (particularly those from the beneficiary group that the organisation may be working in) risks missing significant talent pools and the diverse perspectives they can bring to an organisation.

Such a group may be people of colour in a Western-based organisation. They may experience harassment, discrimination and microaggressions at work simply because they are different. Microaggressions are the expression of hostile, derogatory or negative attitudes toward stigmatised or culturally marginalised groups and others.

Colleagues of different ethnicities, religions, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, disability and age can also be discriminated against, or fail to get on in the organisation and advance to management positions.

In many countries there are laws protecting these characteristics so that discrimination can be challenged. Nevertheless, this may not be universal. This has led to aid organisations developing policies that seek to address greater equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) because an unequal workplace can lead to an unsafe culture with attendant safeguarding concerns.

However, as had already been highlighted, policies alone are not enough to change an organisational culture. Change requires the living and breathing of an appropriate set of values.

Activity 2.2 The value of diversity

Consider the following questions and make some notes in your learning journal:

  • Can you think of other characteristics of diversity not included above?
  • Why do you think the lack of EDI is a safeguarding issue? Can you provide examples how your organisation may have addressed this?

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Want to find out more?

To learn more about this topic, follow the link below:

ActionAid UK sorry after internal report finds ‘denial, disbelief or indifference’ to racism

Creating a culture of inclusion in workspace | Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub (safeguardingsupporthub.org)