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Creating an Inclusive Workplace
4 min read

Strategies for Creating an Inclusive Workplace

Inclusion is one value we hold very close to our core beliefs. That’s why we found ourselves very encouraged when SAP released new documentation around more inclusive software terminology to replace terms with negative connotations. The progression in language naturally changes over time, allowing businesses and people, in general, to embrace diversity and avoid words that have the potential to isolate individuals. Our team continues to encourage diversity of thought, origin, race, religion, gender, colour and more. One way we can do this is by following the guidelines in this document. Another is to encourage inclusive language within our team and our community. However, we know our obligation doesn't end with changing our language. We also need to amplify this message of inclusion and incorporate it into the values we live and work by every day.    

When we include these values into our culture, encouraging inclusivity becomes standard practice as being the right thing to do. Encouraging inclusivity not only encourages a better future in the treatment of everyone, but it also makes our team and those we work with stronger as a result.  

Why Diversity Spurs Innovation 

When we say we are inclusive, we show that we embrace the diversity we see in the world. Diversity has become a key topic of discussion amongst HR professionals and a significant driver for companies creating a competitive advantage. We'll admit we've seen some of these benefits firsthand. 

For one, there is something to be said about the diversity of thought. When given a single problem, different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives can result in a more unique solution than one person's opinion. On a smaller scale, in our design thinking workshops, we embrace the different ideas that come up and recognize that with each unique thought comes another and brings us one step closer to finding a solution that works.   

Forbes Insights also shares one more benefit, which is a more significant innovation. When employees feel included, they are not afraid to speak up, since there is no possibility that they will be rejected. When more ideas are at play, the potential for more creativity and more significant innovation exists. In one Deloitte report, innovation is suggested to be 83% greater in a diverse workplace.   

So how can you get these diverse viewpoints in one room? It all starts with having an environment where everyone feels welcome. 

Updated SAP Terminology  

As SAP brought to light, inclusion can start through language, as highlighted above. Here are some of the terms that have been released in the latest document. 

SAP Terminology Update
 SAP Teriminology Updates List

If your business is currently using any of the above terminologies, you might find it valuable to save this cheat sheet for your future reference. In alignment with SAP's document, if your business is already using alternative wording for the listed words, the guidelines presented do not need to be followed. The main objective is to raise awareness for words that have the potential to exclude. 

Inclusion Strategies Your Business Can Consider 

Using inclusive terminology is just one of the ways your business can promote diversity. For example, in our organization, we work with many people that reside in India. This means many of the holidays are different than those in Canada. To ensure we are inclusive, ConvergentIS is careful to allow employees to take off religious holidays that might not be as common in Canada.  

Additionally, your business might decide to:   

  • Allow your employees to work more flexible working hours, whether this means part-time or letting your team start earlier to be home early to pick up their kids from school.  

  • Blind the resume review process to avoid unintended bias when hiring.  

  • Using translation apps so that team members can communicate in a language they are comfortable using.  

  • Ensure your company is being transparent about gender pay equity. Communicating this transparency opens the doors to conversation and allows your team to see that your business is making efforts to provide equal pay for equal work.  

  • Including the availability of a non-gendered washroom 

Many sources also have suggestions that your business can incorporate to improve diversity and inclusion. There is an abundance of information out there on this topic! 

How ConvergentIS is Ensuring Inclusivity 

The ConvergentIS team is one of many organizations worldwide that is making efforts to encourage a diverse workplace. Through these examples, we, like other businesses, continue to make the necessary changes to ensure we align with these values.  

Our team may not be perfect, but we have noticed the benefits of diversity in our team, including developing more innovative solutions. As a result, we want to inspire other organizations to do the same. To learn more about our team and how we work, we encourage you to read more by clicking the link below.