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What is the real cost of discrimination and lack of inclusiveness?

Each year, LGBT discrimination costs Ukraine from 0.36% to 0.87% of GDP.

17 August 2021

This article was prepared jointly with Vladyslav Melnychuk, Senior Consultant of Human Capital Advisory Services at Deloitte Ukraine.

Ukrainian economy could benefit from additional $7.5–$23.6 billion by increasing the number of women in the workplace. These are just some examples illustrating the lack of inclusiveness in our society.

Biased attitude, discrimination and lack of inclusiveness come at a high price for each of us, including businesses and society. And given the current conditions, it is unacceptably expensive.

Over the last decade, our society has experienced a shift in values, a sharp increase in the number of internally displaced persons and people with military experience as well as reimagining of the role of different genders in public life and the economy. These changes, along with global trends, have made the need for building an inclusive environment in Ukraine more important than ever. Here are just a few facts and figures:

  • In 2019, the gender pay gap was 23%, thus leading to a gap in pensions and social injustice
  • Only 68% of Ukrainian women of working age are employed
  • 4% of women are unemployed by personal choice. A majority of women do not work because of discrimination and biased attitude of employers.

Promoting a culture of diversity and inclusiveness can change the situation for the better and provide new growth opportunities for organizations and society. But first let us find out what these concepts mean.

Diversity means the representation of various facets of human identity in a particular environment or a group. These concern various aspects of who we are and can relate to gender identity, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, military experience, education, socioeconomic status, etc.

17.08.2021, NV Business

As for inclusion, it refers to how people feel or are welcomed in an environment or a group. True inclusiveness is achieved through behaviors, processes and systems that take into account all aspects of diversity and enable people to interact, belong and grow effectively.

The essence of the concepts of diversity and inclusiveness is well illustrated by the words of Verna Myers, Vice President of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix: “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”
An environment of inclusiveness and diversity has a positive impact on people, organizations and society. Let the facts speak for themselves.

Employees prefer an inclusive environment – 71% of respondents surveyed in Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2021 say that a diverse and inclusive work environment is one of the key factors shaping their loyalty to employer. Furthermore, employees who say that they can be their authentic self at work are 4.4 times more likely to do their best work. On the other hand, discrimination experienced by every sixth respondent in Ukraine is a reason to leave the employer.

Organizations with a strong culture of diversity and inclusion are more likely to outperform their competitors and achieve higher financial results. According to Deloitte, organizations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets and six times more likely to be innovative and agile - representing the competencies that are key to achieving success in the future.

The societies and businesses are moving towards social entrepreneurship, in which social impact is a top priority. According to the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2019 survey, the level of social impact, which includes diversity, inclusion, combating inequality, becomes the main standard for the annual measurement of the company’s performance.

Surely, building an environment of inclusiveness and diversity is a gradual process. According to Deloitte surveys, the first steps of organizations to creating such an environment can include:

  • Ensuring leadership engagement in diversity and inclusion efforts. In particular, sharing of information and research showing that organizations with a strong culture of diversity and inclusion perform better.
  • Implementing measures aimed at identifying and addressing possible issues in supporting an inclusive culture: conducting surveys, creating communication channels to address possible issues, assessing the existing policies and processes dealing with biased attitude, lack of equality, etc.
  • Promoting broad support and understanding among employees: conducting training programs and discussions within a company, setting up committees or boards to help meet the specific diversity and inclusion needs, launching programs that personalize diversity and inclusion issues (for example, mentoring programs, training programs, etc.) and making sure that they all include specific actions that can stimulate the behavior changes.

Inclusion and diversity issues have become more relevant and urgent than ever, and by striving to address them effectively we can make our society better, people happier, and businesses more successful.

This article was prepared for NV Business

Press contact:

Anastasiia Beheza
Senior PR Specialist
Deloitte Ukraine

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