Realizing Diversity and Inclusion Goals in the Workplace

In recent decades, “diversity” and “inclusion” have become essential aspects of business strategy worldwide. But how and why did D&I become so critical, and how can ABEX, as a global AI-driven recruiting company, genuinely walk the talk on diversity and inclusion?

The Evolution of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

1940 – 1960s:

  • U.S. President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the US Army, the world’s first legislation to formalize workplace diversity.
  • American civil rights movements further opened up the workplace to various ethnic and cultural groups.
  • Significant anti-discrimination legislations introduced: Equal Pay Act (1963), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964), and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967).

1980s – Early 2000s:

  • Gender diversity initiatives increased the number of women in the workforce.


  • The U.S. workforce composition became highly diverse:
    • White non-Hispanics: 60%
    • Hispanic: 17%
    • African-American: 12%
    • Foreign-born immigrants, including Asians: 17%
  • Diverse workforces proved to be more productive.


  • Millennials entered the workforce with different expectations from employers.
  • Inclusion programs gained traction, with research conducted on unconscious bias.

2015 – Present:

  • Equity became a crucial part of the diversity and inclusion discourse, especially regarding gender-based equal pay.
  • Gen Z, with a large non-white component, entered the workforce, seeking employers with positive societal impacts.

Defining Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity typically focuses on the differences and demographic makeup of groups or organizations. Inclusion involves engaging employees from diverse backgrounds and enabling their participation to use their talents to the fullest.

From a worker’s perspective, inclusion means “the degree to which an employee perceives that they are an esteemed member of the workgroup through experiencing treatment that satisfies their needs for belongingness and uniqueness.”

Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in Organizations

Incorporating D&I programs into an organization’s DNA produces solid, verifiable benefits. For instance, a 2015 McKinsey report revealed that American companies with high levels of racial and ethnic diversity were more likely to post profits above industry standards. Key benefits include:

  1. Attracting Talent: A diverse workforce widens the available talent pool and can reduce hiring costs.
  2. Higher Employee Satisfaction: Genuine workplace diversity and inclusiveness enhance employee satisfaction, creativity, and career opportunities.
  3. Better Decision-Making and Innovation: Diverse workforces contribute to varied solutions, ideation, and creativity.
  4. Greater Brand Value: Focusing on D&I boosts the organization’s brand value, aiding in talent attraction and retention.

Diversity Hiring in India and Beyond

For ABEX, operating in India, the US, and the UK, understanding the regional nuances of diversity is crucial. While gender diversity remains a primary focus, there’s increasing attention on sexual orientation, PwDs, and generational diversity. ABEX must leverage the natural diversity within each market by addressing local exclusion factors such as gender, caste, religion, and income levels.

Best Practices for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion at ABEX

Understanding Today’s Environment:

  • Collect and analyze data on demographics, performance, salaries, and customer feedback to detect and remove bias.

Developing Inspirational Diversity Hiring Strategies:

  • Highlight D&I as a priority for business performance.
  • Publicly communicate progress towards D&I goals.

Leadership Role in D&I:

  • Integrate D&I communications within broader business strategies.
  • Make leaders accountable for D&I results.
  • Involve senior leaders in overseeing D&I initiatives.

Sustaining D&I:

  • Prioritize diversity in hiring, training, and supply chain operations.
  • Define diversity broadly to include various differences.

Specific Programs to Promote Inclusivity at ABEX

  1. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Enable employees to engage and share concerns. Expand beyond gender to include other social groups.
  2. Back to Work Programs: Support women resuming careers after breaks, recognizing their mature professionalism and stability.
  3. Mentoring Programs: Implement career development opportunities for all employees.
  4. Learning Interventions: Offer programs on overcoming bias, identifying micro-exclusions, and training D&I champions.
  5. Inclusive Infrastructure: Design workplaces to be inclusive for all employees.

Avoiding Pitfalls

Diversity without inclusion can do more harm than good. An insincere, top-down approach can worsen bias. ABEX should use a sensitive, engaging approach to achieve better D&I results, such as voluntary training and promoting social accountability.

Partnering with ABEX

ABEX helps employers attract diverse talent with well-planned D&I strategies, hiring systems, and events. To promote workplace inclusion, ABEX offers sensitization programs and infrastructure audit services for creating inclusive workplaces for persons with disabilities.