Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a requirement for the youths
Workplace diversity has been in vogue for some time, but many companies are still
struggling to define what it means for their organization, why it is important, and how to
include it in their talent management strategy.
South Africa is fortunate to have a youthful nation. However, the recent unemployment
statistics pertaining to young people is cause for concern. The 2020 fourth quarter Labour
Force Survey found that about 8,6 million young people aged between 15 and 34 years are
not in education and not in employment.
This year National Youth Day and Youth Month will be celebrated under the theme: “The
Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and
It is against this background that Surgo (Pty) Ltd, an International Business Process
Outsourcer, who specialists in the Contact Centre Industry and HR Consulting Services, has
dedicated this Youth month to encourage gender inclusion and foster diversity in the South
Companies with inclusive, supportive environments have better reputations and branding;
they draw better candidates for vacancies and retain top talent for longer.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is more than policies, programs, or headcounts. Equitable
employers outpace their competitors by respecting the unique needs, perspectives and
potential of all their team members. As a result, diverse and inclusive workplaces earn
deeper trust and more commitment from their employees.
According to Deloitte, diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee.
Gartner found that inclusive teams improve team performance by up to 30 percent in high-diversity
environments. In a BCG study, companies with diverse management teams had a
19 percent increase in revenue compared to their less diverse counterparts.
But what is a diverse and inclusive culture? Jill Miller, diversity and inclusion policy adviser
at the CIPD (The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a professional
organisation that has helped to shape pay gap regulations), describes an inclusive culture as
“supporting people to perform at their best as they will be able to be themselves and know
their contribution is valued”.
According to the European Commission Report entitled “The Business Case for Diversity in
the Workplace: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, it makes good business sense for
companies to try and make their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersex (LGBTI)
employees feel more included in the workplace.
The Labour Research Service of South Africa note that Discrimination and violence against
people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity is a serious problem around the
world, and South Africa is not immune despite our progressive laws.
A diverse and inclusive environment establishes a sense of belonging among employees.
When employees feel more connected at work, they tend to work harder and smarter,
producing higher quality work. As a result, organizations that adopt D&I practices see huge
gains in the form of business results, innovation, and decision-making.