Why is this important?
The many challenges that companies face in the market and within society on a daily basis sometimes call for innovative solutions. These can best be developed if the employees’ strengths are nurtured, their experience is put to good use and their ideas are valued and incorporated into innovation processes. It sometimes takes an unconventional perspective or a new combination of ideas to come up with suitable solutions. When a diverse array of people work in a company, this can form the foundations for especially innovative solutions. It is important that diversity isn’t simply tolerated, but that dialogue and talent of all kinds are accepted and promoted – including above and beyond the legal requirements – in order to contribute to the company’s success and enrich the corporate culture. In addition, employees are more sensitive to other people’s needs if they work with fellow staff members on a daily basis who perhaps have entirely different needs to them. In this way, a company can make a contribution to sustainable development that has an impact above and beyond its own business activities.
What do the terms mean?
Diversity relates to the employees’ differences and similarities. These may be physical attributes such as gender, ethnicity, age or disability or subjective traits such as skills, lifestyle, cultural background, sexual orientation or religion.
In a corporate context, equal opportunities are about how each and every person with all their differences is nurtured in such a way that they can achieve their full potential and thus contribute to the company’s success. Specifically, you should describe your processes that prevent discrimination when recruiting and managing staff, that integrate migrant workers, that improve the work-life balance, that make training and professional development possible, and that offer everyone co-determination and fair pay equally. In this context, occupational health and safety may also need to be modified, such as introducing additional visual warning signals to guarantee the safety of hearing-impaired employees.
What needs to be borne in mind?
First and foremost, you should demonstrate how your company ensures that the law on Human Rights and Equality Institution is complied with. You should also show what else the company does in the area of equal opportunities, how it pays everyone fairly, how it prevents discrimination and makes a positive contribution to the integration of minorities, and how it improves the work-life balance.