Diversity and Inclusion – what does it mean to you?
Establishing equality is a top challenge that the entire human society is facing at the moment. Businesses, managers and individuals – actually anyone can play a significant role in this regard by working on D&I strategies in life and in the workplace.
In the workplace, equality is making sure people are given equal opportunities, equal pay and are well accepted for their differences. It is about fostering a safe, secure and inclusive environments where people with diverse backgrounds can thrive.
WE WANTED TO ASK FOLK, WHAT DOES DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MEAN TO YOU?
”D&I is more than just filling a quota or to be used as a CSR bragging piece. Your company, organisation or team should make people know they belong here and are valued — not that they are allowed to be here because they have permission, which maybe be withdrawn at any moment. Empower the historically underrepresented by giving them power — real power! No mentoring, just paid positions. Trust them, give them room to fail and they will succeed.”
”Diversity is getting to work alongside and learn from people of all different backgrounds and experiences – and inclusion is celebrating this! It’s allowing people to bring their whole self to the table, whether it be their culture, work experience, personality type or just uniqueness, and feel like they belong. Then using this to come up with some amazing ideas together and do some pretty cool things!!”
”To me, diversity and inclusion means being able to build technology that works for everyone. A diverse team is able to draw from a more varied experience when evaluating how a service can be used and abused. This impacts how services are designed and built, who they serve and it makes them more resilient to external changes and challenges.”
”To understand diversity is to be open minded to the different realities that affect people every day all over the world. Inclusivity is realising that one size does not fit all. Recognising diversity can be difficult at times, even when you know the headlines (gender, sexual orientation, disability etc), unless you become exposed to it. And to gain exposure we need to create meaningful human connections with others. When we then care for each other we become ready to be inclusive, recognising the needs, challenges and joys of each other and adapting our environment and behaviours to create a better place to share together.”
Borja Lazaro Toralles – Software Engineer
“Diversity is recognising the value of bringing together voices representing a wide range of experiences and perspectives. Inclusion is striving to continuously improve our workplace so that these diverse voices arrive and thrive.”
“Diversity & Inclusion is everything, both in the workplace, in our communities and in our everyday lives. It is ensuring that we create the right environment for everyone, where everybody feels safe, both physically and psychologically, and can be their true selves. It’s where everyone feels included, heard, seen and valued. It’s about valuing everyone as an individual, celebrating our differences and the things that make us unique.”
”For me, D&I is about breaking down the barriers for entry into software as a profession, and ensuring that our colleagues are never made to feel like they don’t belong. I’m thinking about this a lot at the moment, as I’m currently building up a new software team at Context. I want to make sure we get the right people for the job, and ensure they feel welcome and are able to do their best work. We’re taking practical steps like not requiring candidates to have a degree, and checking the language used in our job adverts for gender bias, but this is just the start. We sadly still hear many examples of inappropriate behaviours across our industry, and I’m not naïve enough to think that we will never encounter these in our company. I think the most important thing here is creating a culture where people are able to call out negative behaviours when they see them, and where people can share their experiences openly and without fear of repercussion. I’m in no doubt that building and maintaining such a culture will require constant work, but I’m sure it will be worth it.”
”Diversity is what makes my hometown the greatest city in the world (New York). It’s what breaks down barriers and opens our minds. It’s what dismantles racism, sexism, and xenophobia. Embracing diversity shouldn’t begin and end out there in the world. It should inform how we view every interaction, especially in the workplace. This leads to different though perspectives, which in turn can lead to ground breaking products and businesses. At Deed, this is at the core of our hiring process and I have to say it’s not easy. But when you are deliberate about it, it is definitely possible.”
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, more to come next week.
A voice for diversity in Tech & Engineering <3