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The Diversity & Inclusion agenda?

I am going to make a prediction based on what I've observed shifting in the last few years.

Over a year ago I stated a belief at that one day mental health and wellbeing challenges will be seen as a normal part of our modern lives, that we can manage them with awareness and the appropriate support and kindness. Thought acceptance, openness, and workplace flexibility everyone can be healthy and continue to add huge value to their work endeavours.

I have seen Sales led organisations, Marketing led, even Finance led. I’ve also seen functional shifts in HR over the years; Talent led, Reward led, Operationally led, OD led, all depending on strategic direction and the talents of those leading these areas. When Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) appeared as a role it was small and initially unclear as to it’s full purpose or impact, there to analyse and manage quotas and regulatory expectations.

My prediction is that the D&I function will take an even more significant role over the next few years as it becomes more widely recognised as the function that can exist to understand the full breadth and depth of the human condition as it presents in the workplace. That visible differences and those more hidden will be equally valued and recognised as being needed in the workplace and it will play a lead role in combating stigma and discrimination and ensure full and appropriate representation. That other functions will look to their D&I colleagues for support in understanding our differences, in effective resourcing, talent planning, reward strategy, operational guidance, workforce deployment, performance management, employee relations issues, and flexible policy making. Perhaps not a D&I led HR function but certainly an important and equal member of its functional specialisms.

As a result we will see much less separated conversation about mental ill health, about physical disability, about race, about sexuality, about gender, about religion, and about every other group and section of society too many to mention. To embrace our differences with open curiosity and excitement, with greater humanity and connection, and not judgementally or fearfully would be a good place to arrive, until the next challenge that is.

Let’s see.

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