Embracing Diversity and Fostering Inclusion

As an industry professional, I recognize the importance and value of inclusion in the workplace. Over time, I’ve learned that fostering an inclusive environment can lead to remarkable growth and improved professionalism for any industry.

Inclusion is all about validating everyone’s individual identity and respecting the value of their unique perspectives. This approach of appreciating diverse points of view and unique ways of thinking can unlock numerous potentials for companies, increasing creativity and innovation. Let’s talk about why this matters and how to incorporate it.

One crucial factor of inclusion is the immense pool of talent it brings forth. People with different backgrounds, experiences, skills and perspectives help drive innovation. With more perspectives in problem-solving, it’s more likely we can come up with fresh, out-of-the-box solutions. Diversity drives innovation, and innovation is key to growth in any industry.

Moreover, when employees feel valued and included, they’re more engaged and committed to their work. Research consistently shows that inclusive companies have lower turnover rates. Happy, satisfied workers tend to stay with a company longer and put in more effort into their jobs.

Additionally, an inclusive culture can boost a company’s reputation. Today’s consumers are not only looking at the quality and price of your products or services but are increasingly paying attention to the company’s culture. A positive, inclusive image makes a company more attractive to potential customers, driving more business growth.

For improving professionalism, having a diverse and inclusive workforce brings a myriad of perspectives to the table. It pushes individuals to challenge their own biases and preconceptions. It also provides opportunities for employees to learn from one another’s experiences, promoting a more empathetic, considerate, and ultimately more professional environment.

How to cultivate inclusion? First and foremost, company leaders should be champions of inclusivity, fostering a workplace culture that celebrates diversity and respects individual differences. Also, implementing diversity and inclusion training can enlighten employees about the benefits of inclusivity and provide strategies for overcoming bias. Furthermore, it’s essential to have systems in place that promote equal opportunities, like clear, unbiased hiring and promotional practices.

Finally, I would encourage us to foster an environment where everyone feels safe and encouraged to speak up and share their thoughts and ideas. Creating an open dialogue about inclusion and its importance can make a huge difference in fostering an inclusive workplace culture.

Embracing diversity and fostering inclusion in the industry isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s also a strategic business decision. With increased innovation, enhanced engagement, improved reputation, and bolstered professionalism, promoting inclusivity helps both employees and companies flourish. As we aim for growth and progress, let’s keep promoting and celebrating inclusivity in our industry.

Let’s open the floor for discussions, initiatives, and training aimed at making our industry more inclusive. This will pave the way for not only individual growth but also significant industry-wide progress. It’s an ongoing journey and certainly, worth every step.


Sharona Stokes
NCBAA Board Member