Diverse and inclusive workplaces can attract strong talent, and help pave the way for businesses to achieve a competitive advantage. A newly published international standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 30415, Human resource management — Diversity and inclusion, provides a foundation for organizations wishing to create an inclusive workplace and optimizes all the benefits that it can bring. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the secretariat of ISO technical committee (TC) 260, Human Resource Management, which developed the standard.
The Value of Diversity and Inclusion
A diverse and inclusive work environment establishes a sense of belonging among employees. Moreover, organizations that foster this type of an environment can set the stage for wider perspectives and boost innovation —a leading driver of business growth.
Jim Lewis, chair of the ISO technical committee that developed ISO 30415 says that creating a truly inclusive organizational culture requires much more than just good intentions.
"Fair and equitable access to jobs and career paths, as well as the opportunity for every employee to be heard and respected involves deeply embedding the principles of diversity and inclusion in an organization's policies and practices," he noted.
Beyond the value to employees, various studies and polls of organizations indicate that diversity and inclusion in the workplace are powerful enablers of business performance. A 2020 McKinsey report, Diversity wins: How inclusion matters, interviewed CEOs, CXOs and CHROs amid the radically changed business landscape amid the COVID crisis. The authors of the report note: "Companies whose leaders welcome diverse talents and include multiple perspectives are likely to emerge from the crisis stronger. In short: diversity wins, now more than ever."
Deloitte's 2018 publication, The Diversity and Inclusion Revolution, developed based on the company's culmination of work with approximately 50 organizations around the world that represent a footprint of more than 1 million employees, gives insights on the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion. The report's authors recognize a simple formula: Diversity + inclusion = better business. "Simply put, diversity without inclusion is worth less when the two are combined," the report emphasizes.
How ISO 30415 Supports Diversity and Inclusion
The new standard ISO 30415 will result in company leaders demonstrating their commitment to diversity and inclusion, with strategic opportunities applied and strong awareness of the results of their commitment by employees and external stakeholders. The standard covers actions, principles, measures, and their associated accountabilities and responsibilities, and takes into account the unique context of each workplace. ISO 30415 is intended to be scalable to the needs of all types of organizations in different sectors, whether in public, private, government or non-governmental organizations (NGO), regardless of size, type, activity, industry or sector, growth phase, external influences, and country-specific requirements.
"This standard helps organizations to embed diversity and inclusion across the entire employment life cycle, as well as in their supply chain and relationships with other stakeholders," said Lewis. "It takes a continuous improvement approach to achieve diversity and inclusion objectives and to support external validation processes as well."