COVID-19. Brexit. Economic recession.

Naziyah Mahmood
Gender Equality Expert


From individuals and families, to businesses and educational institutions, this year has been a rollercoaster of uncertainty for everyone and as such keeping our head above the water is at the top of the priority list.

Often during times of crisis, essential training and best practice can take a back seat, however, the case for businesses becoming more inclusive and diverse has never been stronger. A plethora of research has shown that more diverse companies outperform those with less diverse workplaces on several metrics. From better financial performance and employee productivity, to better customer satisfaction and lower employee turnover, the business case for a diverse workforce is strongly linked with the success of your company.

A part of the issue is that many organisations don’t seem to understand the core of what Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) entails, and as such these have become buzzwords that are thrown across the table as badges of honour. Everyone wants to become more attractive to a diverse range of applicants, but then how do you work to retain that diversity once you have it? Equality is to allow everyone the opportunity to reach the same outcome of success. Diversity is appreciating that people belong to a very wide spectrum of ways of being, and putting value on this. Inclusion is realizing that to retain this diversity we must ensure our workplace cultures reflects our desire to respect and value each individual. There’s also the missing “I” of intersectionality, but let’s at least make a start with the former!

Centuries have passed and we are still finding ourselves having to make a case for gender equality across several sectors, but now that these sectors are being brought to their knees by so many simultaneous issues, we must ensure that we do everything to rise from this toward a better future. This means including all voices, no matter how uncomfortable it may make some people.

As stated in UN reports, “Women will be the hardest hit by this pandemic but they will also be the backbone of recovery in communities”, so maybe investing in that diversity training isn’t such a bad idea after all!