As Technology professionals, we are usually making decisions, solving problems and working in Teams to accomplish business goals. However, sometimes our Team is not optimized for high performance, innovation and achievements. This is where Diversity and Inclusion play a fundamental role. But, what is the meaning of those two terms?
Diversity refers to human differences. They could be related to gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, education, experience, personality, or others. A working environment is diverse when the teams have diversity in its members. However, inclusion goes a step further, and it is not only counting with a diverse team, but also creating an organizational climate that foster collaboration, support and respect for these differences.
In diverse and inclusive organizations, everyone wins, as employees learn to collaborate, whereas the organization accomplish its goals in a more efficient manner:
- Creativity and Product Development – Software development is a highly collaborative process. Developers should work in Teams. A diverse Team is more likely to solve problems because they have different point of views, but rather than argue, they work for a common objective. They are able to see problems from different angles and build a solution that addresses them all. That way, better products and better services are designed and implemented. Diverse teams use creativity to achieve more, more efficiently
- Happier environment and employee engagement – People with different backgrounds and lifestyles challenge each other more. A great leader will take benefit of diversity to promote creativity and innovation, where ideas are considered and everyone participates in decision-making. This workplace environment makes employees feel happier and acomplished. They feel as a valued member of a Team which will lead to employee engagement and loyalty to the Brand.
- Learning and Personal Growth – In diverse and inclusive organizations, the leadership mission includes programs that help teams to work collaborately, respect people’s opinion, brainstorm new ideas, and look for a common benefit for the organization. Programs like Women in Technology encourage the development and participation of women in the technology field through mentorship, role modeling, training and networking.