Diversity and Inclusion: Why now?

Diversity and Inclusion: Why now?

As I mentioned in my previous post, this pairing is currently a “trend”. Why? We will comment on the several reasons why and they might begin with a virus name: the SARS-CoV-2.

Yes, the pandemic has become a turning point for the beginning of this decade and most probably for recent history. The coronavirus has paralyzed the world as we knew it, making us think, allowing us to analyze and accelerating change. 

In recent years, many factors have made pro-diversity policies and initiatives more relevant to organizations. In this article, we will analyze three factors that have gained resonance due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

SDG

Among the 17 sustainable development goals set in 2015 by the UN General Assembly, several of them are closely related to inclusion as a key ingredient to reach the objectives of the 2030 agenda.  

The current situation has brought to light how important it is that countries agree on coordinated actions: without inclusion, without cooperation, without alliances there cannot be prosperity for all. As António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations tweeted “We must tackle the fragilities & gaps exposed by the #COVID19 pandemic and strengthen our mutual bonds, based on our common humanity.”

Digitization

The new circumstances cannot be separated from the digital transformation that’s taking place. According to Nacho de Pinedo, CEO and co-founder of ISDI, interviewed by Spanish digital newspaper El Confidencial “after 60 days of lockdown, the world accelerated the equivalent of 6 years in digitization”. [1]

This reality lays out new paradigms, new ways of working, new markets, new channels of communication and, ultimately, new spaces in which diversity can be either an opportunity or a threat, depending on how it is managed.

Social movements

A few weeks ago, Joe Biden won the US elections, winning more votes than any other presidential candidate in the history of that country. However, for many, the focus was on vice-president-elect, Kamala Harris. At 46 years old, not only is she the first woman to be elected vice-president of the US, but also the first Black, Indian-American to get to that position. In her victory speech she said:

“But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not, simply because they’ve never seen it before, but know that we will applaud you every step of the way”.

The Democrat triumph is not a coincidence: in the midst of the catastrophic situation due to the pandemic, a spiral of anti-racism protests took place, generating the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement after the fatal death of George Floyd and the definitive social fracture in the US.

The social movement spread throughout the entire world and made relevant global companies and organisations take a stand. This happened only three years after the rise of the MeToo movement, which denounced gender violence and inequality.

So?

So, we could confirm that diversity and inclusion shouldn’t just be a “trend”. Instead, they should be part of the route map of those organizations, administrations, governments and companies that would like to participate in this change and want to manage them appropriately in order to create an opportunity for society to progress.

In the upcoming posts, we will go through key practices to make D&I a competitive advantage and the most common mistakes which hinder that from happening.

[1] EC Brands. Los 60 días de confinamiento han acelerado seis años la digitalización del mundo (2020). [Online] El Condifencial. https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/2020-06-11/transformacion-digital-isdi-bra_2622219/

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