Importance of Inclusivity in The Workplace
As a young person in Bristol a particular interest of mine is looking into the accessibility of careers for people in under-represented communities. We all deserve equal access to opportunities. Yet, there are consistent issues with accessibility for people of colour in multiple industries. Both from an individual perspective and in the interest of businesses, industries should have inclusivity as one of their top priorities.
The Greater Impact
Representation is more than about filling quotas; it’s about showing possibilities. This is surely in the interests of businesses. Innovation and the development of business is all about believing in different possibilities, and what better way to show this than by giving those who don’t have such networks a chance to succeed?
The idea that everything can be solved through the lens of individualism undermines the impact that external factors have on each person. You can often see it in the industries of sport and music, where young people of colour aspire to be like their role models, whether it’s their favourite footballer or music artist. A similar influence can be taken in areas such as tech and finance, where representation of the black community is not as prevalent.
The beauty of the domino effect is that all it takes is for one domino to fall, which will then lead to a greater impact to take place. The only difference in the case of representation is that we need much more than one domino in order to achieve our goals. If more people who are part of Black and Minority Ethnic communities are represented across multiple industries and can share their unique perspectives, the influence it would have on their peers and others that look like them would be immense. All of a sudden, you will see the rise of black kids aspiring to work in fields that might have otherwise seemed less viable.
Stagnation Without Diversity
On top of this, without diversity in the workplace, businesses risk stagnating and becoming out of touch with the communities they seek to attract to buy their products or services. If everyone is from the same background, they are likely to have similar ideas when it comes to project ideas. Different backgrounds play a major role in determining our view of, not only business, but also the world more generally.
If people aren’t able to use their unique background to discuss and challenge each other in moving the business forward, then it’s the business that ultimately suffers as a result.
The not-so-hidden gems in communities of lower representation are deserving of opportunities. It should be up to the businesses to make an effort to reach out to young people and display the accessibility of their industry. Outreach programmes, like Babbasa, are so important in showing young people what is possible and that they are truly able to achieve any goal.
As a young person myself, I am able to see that often it is not the work ethic of the individual which holds them back, it is the lack of accessible opportunities at hand. Young people of colour are more ambitious than ever, and individual businesses have a responsibility to help them make the most of their talents.
– Qazzally Ali : Babbasa Youth Ambassador