“Have you ever been in a room and didn’t see anyone else like you?”, asks Orange is the New Black star Uzo Aduba at the beginning of the inspiring campaign recently launched by Netflix which celebrates the commitment to diversity and inclusion. However, diversity is not only beneficial to film and show making industry, but it is also good for business, society and humanity as such.
There is a plethora of research which suggests that diversity and inclusion promotes greater innovation and creativity, boosts employer brand and reputation, increases team’s problem-solving and decision-making, supports recruitment processes and improves talent retention. Acknowledging all these benefits, at Digital Republic we truly embrace and champion diversity. We collectively believe that it encourages collaboration of different ideas, stimulates our creative thinking as well as drives our personal and professional success. In addition, our client base is very diverse on many levels and, therefore, diversity and inclusion helps us commercially too, as we have got a better understanding of our customers and their needs.
Diversity at Digital Republic is something we are really proud of.
Find out what employees are thinking of diversity and inclusion and how it benefits them on a daily basis.
What does diversity mean to you?
Richard: It means a lot to me, I am born from African heritage, I have a daughter who I, of course, would like to have access to the same opportunities as anyone else and have worked with people who have physical disabilities, or different religious beliefs who make a really valuable contribution to the workplace. There is so much research out there which champions the commercial benefits of being proactive in this area and diversity in the workplace is also symbolic in terms of the general direction of society. For me, helping to drive the cause in the workplace may encourage more tolerance and cohesive in society in general.
Abid: Diversity is having a mixture of something, having a difference or a variation. This correlates to something I consider really important and take into my life and surrounding.
Ivona: Diversity to me means understanding that each individual is truly unique. It means more than just acknowledging and tolerating our individual differences. Diversity is more about respecting and embracing the qualities and experiences that are different from my own, regardless the gender, age, ethnical background or religious belief.
Patrick: If everyone was the same and there was no diversity, life would be pretty boring.
Zamen: To me, diversity means fostering, promoting and building an environment which is inclusive for anyone regardless of their race, religion, sex, gender or sexual orientation.
Simeon: Diversity for me is accepting that the world is full of different people and that is the main beauty of it. Every culture and belief is diverse and unique, which creates so many values that can be explored.
Aila: Diversity to me means interacting with people from all different walks of life. Diversity also means learning from one another, we are all from different cultures, backgrounds, religions etc, in order to progress as a society, we need diversity this allows us to have a better understanding of one another culture, ethnic background etc.
Why do you think diversity and inclusion in the workplace is important?
Richard: Regardless of whatever type of company or team you are part of the success of the unit very rarely relies on one person but rather different people with different skill sets pulling together to deliver a common cause. The success of companies like Google and Facebook have been underpinned by the companies not going with the status quo but rather employing people who have a different approach to problems which may be different by their different experiences.
NASA has just announced the first all-female Moonwalk in history and it has gone relatively unnoticed – but this kind of events can provide an inspiration for other people who may not necessarily have believed that they have a realistic path to being the best they can be and organisations like NASA will also gain residual benefits of people who may not have considered lending their talents to this organisation previously believing they can ‘walk on the moon.’ which can only be fantastic for them.
Abid: I think diversity encourages any thought and action. How you think and what you do in life is build up of self-opinion and this should never be biased. Having a difference, alternatives and a variation so that you can achieve the best and optimise anything you do. The same way, in our office we are full of diversity whether that refers to each individual being unique, and recognising our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
This is what makes us and allows us to see people and life for what it is, everyone has a different walk of life and not everyone’s footsteps are the same, so embrace the differences and allow this to channel your thoughts and actions.
Patrick: Diversity and inclusion in the workplace from my viewpoint are vital. It allows collaboration of ideas to find solutions and drive success. It is good to get ideas from versatile individuals to way up opinions and make an executive decision, having heard different viewpoints on a given topic. It also promotes equality in the workplace, no matter your backgrounds but merited on your efforts.
Diversity and inclusion are also important in the workplace as it sets a good example for the rest of the world and plays a role in diminishing discrimination or racism.
Aila: Diversity in the workplace is vital for us because it demonstrates itself in building a great reputation for the company, leading to increased profitability and opportunities for workers. Workplace diversity is important.
Zamen: Simply because for a long time the workplace has not been diverse, there has been one specific group dominating it with tiny little pockets and exceptions to the norm scattered here and there. It’s important to have a diverse workforce because society is diverse and the workforce needs to reflect this.
Ivona: In my opinion diversity and inclusion are absolutely essential not only in the workplace but also in our lives in general. It opens up a pool of various perspectives, creative ideas and different approaches to problems. In business terms, I genuinely believe that diversity and inclusion could increase employer brand and reputation as well as drive the company’s success.
Simeon: If we are not able to accept diversity in our lives and workplace we won’t be able to communicate effectively.
How does diversity benefit you on a daily basis, if at all?
Richard: When I look at diversity within Digital Republic it is one of the things I am most proud of. Unlike many companies within my industry, we have a broad church in terms of diversity within our organisation. We have a mixture of male and females from many different companies with differing religious views and experiences and the first benefit it gives us a much more tolerant societal view because we have more knowledge of how people from different backgrounds view life. Apart from making us better people, this world view helps us commercially because our client base is also very diverse on many levels and the more intimate understanding helps us engage with our customers more effectively.
Patrick: I like to think of myself as a bit of a ‘cultured person’. I have colleagues and friends from all different walks of life. You can spot me some weekends at Borough Market trying all different sorts of street foods. I have a varied music taste from UK house to Reggae and Hip Hop. I am a free spirit who loves to travel and explore different cultures across the globe.
Ivona: If I am honest, diversity makes my life more exciting. I am glad to have an opportunity to live and work in one of the most diverse cities in the world and learn about different cultures and their distinctive characteristics. Diversity greatly broadens my horizons and promotes my personal and professional growth.
Zamen: I am meeting with and speaking to different people every day. Therefore, I’m learning things I didn’t know about those people.
Simeon: It benefits me massively. It gives me the chance to expand my view of the world I live in. I get to understand how different people think and what their values are. I broaden my overview of how to mix different cultures and make them work together.
Aila: As our team is so diverse, I learn something new more or less every day. All our experiences and backgrounds are different.
Abid: Being able to understand this and respecting these difference is diversity, for the appreciation of this will shape our future and encourage equality.
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