Preventing Discrimination and Promoting Inclusivity in the Workplace

Preventing Discrimination and Promoting Inclusivity in the Workplace

Workplaces are open to diversity in the present-day scenario, employing members from various ethnic, racial, cultural backgrounds and individual of varied sexes. Is it always as good as it seems, though?  Maybe not.

Sometimes, the inability to manage diversities poses problems and makes it difficult to maintain a Discrimination free atmosphere. In some cases, it goes to the extent of exclusion of a particular social group. 

Some forms of discriminatory behaviours take may take place in the workplace are:




More often than not these types of discriminatory practices take place unintentionally. Sometimes it takes place overtly, sometimes covertly.

Some instances of discriminatory practices taking place in the workplace are:

Not allowing members from the LGBTQ community to apply for a post

Not giving married women or women with children, higher posts as they “may not be able to deal with the additional work pressures, or devote the time or commitment required”

Not having a differently abled infrastructure

Randomly throwing offensive comments on the mental health of certain employees in the name of “jokes or fun”

Not including younger members in the decision-making process and not allowing them to voice their opinion

Paying members of different sexes differently for the same task

Denying applicants jobs based on their racial, ethnic or cultural backgrounds

And the list continues

The costs of discrimination taking place in the workplace are:

  • Conflicts among employees
  • Negative attitudes towards co-workers
  • Feelings of exclusion
  • Lack of motivation
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Lower job satisfaction
  • Drop in productivity levels
  • Negative attitudes towards the organisatio

It is essential for organizations to have strict policies against discrimination, allowing employees opportunities based on their skills and experience and not their sex or social background.      

A strong way to bring down cases of discrimination is promoting inclusion in the workplace. 

What is inclusion?

Inclusion refers to allowing members of different sexes and social group access to equal rights and resources in an organisation. Inclusion is characterized by allowing all employees to voice their opinion, hearing their concerns, allowing them to be open to the available opportunities irrespective of their social group or sex.

Diversity versus Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace go hand in hand but are essentially not the same. While diversity refers to members of different groups being able to apply for a post in an organisation, inclusivity implies the norms in an organisation which allow the employees to be at ease and safe in one’s surroundings at work.

Inclusion does not take place in the absence of diversity. Presence of diverse groups paves way for organizations to be inclusive. 

In the absence of inclusivity, diverse groups may not feel comfortable in the environment and may even want to break away from the organisation.

Hence, although diversity and inclusion are fundamentally different concepts but go hand in hand and are equally essential to ensure the smooth functioning of the organisation and to allow cohesiveness.

What can be done to promote inclusion in the workplace?

At Individual level

  • Issues of all employees need to be addressed in a similar manner
  • Sensitising employees towards their co-workers
  • Taking measures to remove any kind of discrimination taking place and having strict policies against discrimination
  • Superiors should promote new comers and allow them to voice their opinions
  • Leaders must be trained to handle cases of discrimination. 

At leadership level

Managers and supervisors must be open to grievances of employees experiencing the exclusion

Assess if the organisation is ready to include members of different sexes, caste and religious groups

Consider what policies can be initiated to reduce cases of discrimination

Supervisors must ensure that the employees feel safe and comfortable in the workplace

Trust and confidence must be built by having regular interactions with the employees

At organisational level

Recognise the challenges coming in the way of inclusivity

Recognise the changes required in the organisation

Being open to bring about changes in the organisation

Ensuring that the changes brought about are being implemented

Evaluate the changes, behaviour of employees, appraise the favourable behaviours and take necessary actions for the unfavourable behaviours

implications of inclusiveness and diversity within work 
  1. New customers are driven towards the organization

Employees with varied backgrounds have varied connections and strategize in a way to bring about more new customers to the firm. They possess the ability to spread a word about the services offered in their social group and there is no advertisement and persuasion of customers than the word of mouth.

  1. Lower absenteeism

As a result of inclusion, employees from various backgrounds will have a sense of importance and belonging with the organization. This will increase their job satisfaction, and reduce absenteeism.

  1. Increased Profitability

Inclusion, significantly improves the performance of employees, increasing the productivity of the organization which in turn increases the monetary gains of the firm. Similarly, the goodwill of the firm hikes attributing to the positive work culture and environment it offers

  1. Increase in talent pool

With increasing number of employees from varied backgrounds, there is increase in creative ideas. Each individual comes with a fresh perspective, adding to the efficiency of the firm by giving novel ideas.


It can be noticed that simple strategies of inclusion and bringing down discriminatory practice can significantly improve the efficiency and productivity levels of firms. It is hence a win-win situation for all. 

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