Diversity in companies can be defined by the variety of profiles of employees, whether it concerns their origin, age, gender, appearance, diploma, culture, training, etc. In the professional world, preconceived ideas are tenacious. 

Despite the evolution of mentalities, it is still common to hear that women are less motivated than men by their work because they are too busy with their family life, that young people are lazy and inexperienced, that people approaching retirement are expensive or outdated, that people with disabilities are less effective, etc. Even though many companies are now aware of the importance of working against discrimination, things are moving slowly. However, diversity has real benefits, both for the company and for employees. To Enhance diversity in work, this is the best choice now.

State of diversity

APEC published in 2015 a study on the representations and practices of diversity within companies. This reveals that only 15% of the companies questioned consider priority diversity issues. Most of them have signed commitments for diversity simply to comply with legal obligations. The actions put in place are often linked to the HR recruitment processes and depend above all on the involvement of managers. The study also reveals that age is the number one reason for discrimination. Then come origin, disability and gender.

A Diversity Charter was created in 2004 by Claude Bébéar and Yazid Sabeg to condemn discrimination in the field of employment. A report published on their website confirms that there is indeed a long way to go:

With identical skills and experiences, a man with a name and surname, white in skin and whose physical appearance does not present particularly unsightly features, is more likely to be invited to a job interview:

  • 3 times more than an elderly candidate
  • 3 times more than a candidate
  • 2 times more than a candidate with a disability
  • 1.5 times more than a woman.

However, the law is clear. In the event of a complaint of discrimination, a company risks a fine of up to 225,000 euros and all those accused up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros.

Diversity is not only a story of compliance with the law, it is also a real vector of well-being within the company and therefore an interesting area to be developed by HR.

Diversity and well-being in business

The advantages of diversity are manifold. Fostering diversity within a company has a positive impact on employees for various reasons.

Opening up to others and breaking down barriers of differences

An employee who works in a company offering a place for diversity will be able to be in contact with people with varied profiles and discuss with each one on very broad fields. Meeting people who are different from yourself is opening up to new perspectives and benefiting from mutual enrichment on a daily basis. This is a great way to thrive at work.

Diversity to inspire

The more different the profiles, the more varied the ideas and ways of approaching things. The other is a real source of inspiration from which each employee can draw. The company will come out enriched and will be able to develop its actions effectively.